1. Some people will like me, some people will love me. Some people won't do either. What's most important is I love, and like myself. To that end, I need to be the best person I can be - for me.
2. Truly listening is a skill that rewards me in spades.
3. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. Life can be heart wrenching and unfair for no good reason. Some things just are. It's not what happens, it's how I react to it.
4. Saying 'no' should not be a precursor to guilt. 'No' can be a sentence in itself, and doesn't require detailed explanations all the time. People pleasing is not a great career option.
5. Shame can suffocate your essence and snuff out your spark. Putting effort into sharing your shame and dealing with it will help lift the burden. Being proactive and calling out your shame is scary, but worth it.
6. The direction I take is mine to choose. Ideas and tips from others are great, but ultimately I steer my own ship. Any decisions I make are mine, and the consequences that flow from them are mine. Playing the victim only gives away my power. Negativity thwarts pathways for growth.
7. Everyone sees the world through their own filter. If I disagree with them, I remind myself there may be solid reasons why they think like they do. We all come at life from our own perspectives, and the only person who's lived my life is me (and they theirs).
8. I need time alone to recharge and renew myself. This is okay. Others don't need to understand this, or even accept it. It is what it is, and my mindset and health are much better when I include it.
9. Being weird, dorky, or a little off the beaten track is also okay. Besides, the beaten path is well mined... stepping away means I sometimes find a diamond in the rough!
10. Sleep is one of my best friends, and my whole life is better when I treat it as such.
11. Treating my body like a temple means everything else in life improves. But it's okay to treat my body like a fun-house now and then too!
12. Laughter really is the best medicine (along with animals, dancing, singing, art, friends, family, nature, and time).
13. Talking to myself isn't an indicator of madness, it helps me process my feelings and get a handle on things. After all, I think I'm reasonably intelligent, so I'm a good person to have a chat with! Rehearsing future conversations in the shower is also fruitful!
14. Feelings will not kill you. They can also come in cycles. Stuffing them down or bottling them up builds resentment and stunts progress. Best to feel them, let them flow through me, and know life will happen despite them.
15. Keeping my surroundings uncluttered and my cupboards with room to spare feels luxurious and free. My mind is clearer, I feel better, and I'm calmer when I pay attention to the way I create my home and work space. My home is a haven, and a sanctuary for my soul. Putting effort into keeping it that way is therapeutic and brings me joy.
16. Boundaries are a vital part of protecting my inner core and well-being. Respecting myself enough to call out the disrespect of others and walk away from it honours who I am. Being alone is infinitely better than being with someone who treats me poorly.
17. Letting go when I can't change things, and having the courage to change the things I can, is one of the best pathways to satisfaction and contentment.
18. My intuition and gut feelings are superb indicators of what's real.
19. I should never make a life changing decision while I'm in an extreme mindset or mood. For example: Furious, devastated, ravenous, sleep deprived, shocked, or surprised. This almost always ends with poorly judged outcomes. Although, sometimes I'm in luck and things work out anyway!
20. Invisible threads are the strongest ties. Sometimes there are things driving me I'm not wholly aware of. And sometimes, there are habits or relationships I continue on auto pilot. Breaking detrimental attachments, particularly those I'm not wholly aware of, is something that requires great effort, and sometimes third party support. (I love a good counseling session).
21. If I'm trying to play perfectly, then I'm not 'playing' I'm performing. (Unless I'm on stage - that's a playground for me!) If I'm trying to play without leaving any room for mistakes, tangents, or creative muck ups.... then I'm putting on a 'performance' rather than letting loose. Perfectionism can cripple joy.
22. The only person I can control is myself. The only person who can truly make me happy, is me. I am in charge of my own life, and it's not my right to control others. Trying to fix or rescue someone else from their own self destruction is also a form of control. We are all our own entities. Help and advice is nice, as long as it is freely given, and the giver is okay with it being rejected (me included)!
23. I am enough.
23 is almost half of 51, and I'd like to think I learned these things evenly across my time, one every couple of years. But, no.... there seems to have been a snowball effect as I got closer to 40, and then things really started to gather speed and cement themselves as I got to 50.
I'm never going to be perfect, and I'm still going to make many a mistake. The things I've learned may be forgotten and have to be re-learned via a new lesson! But, as long as I approach life with an attitude of gratitude and a willingness to learn, I trust myself to be the best 'me' I can be.
I wonder what lessons I'll be able to look back on in another 10 years or so?!
What about you?
What are the most important things you've learned over time?
(I've added this post to Open Slather on Alicia's wonderful blog!)
You can download the quotes used in this post right here (no strings).