Welcome back, Darling Lovelies. I had a little bit of a self-imposed break to avoid burnout (this happens every few months, like hibernation, but it always draws to a screeching halt when the ideas come flooding back in). While I’ve been hiding in my hovel / shed (more on that soon) I started seriously thinking about the important life lessons I’ve learned in the last five years or so and how they’ve changed me. So I thought I’d share them with you for free! Clap along (or don’t) and share your comments in the box below!
You can’t control or predict
The only thing you can control in life is your reaction to it. You can influence things, sure, but even the best laid plans yadayada… Everything else just isn’t up to you, so stop trying to control what happens, or predict the future, and just enjoy the ride!
Sometimes the worst things are also the best
The worst things that have ever happened to me have also been the best things, because they shaped me into a kinder, more empathetic person. They taught me that life is short and unpredictable, that risks sometimes pay off big time and that lessons will repeat themselves again and again until you learn from them.
That YOU are number one
No, it’s not selfish – putting yourself first is the most selfless thing you can do. It means that you lead by example in only accepting things that are right for you. It makes you a pillar of strength, safe in the knowledge that you can care for yourself through anything and, as a result, be better at being there for others. Make time for yourself, to do the things that build you up and make you shine, and you will be a better, happier and more productive person for it.
That loving someone shouldn’t be at your own expense
Loving other people is a wonderful gift. However, don’t put people on pedestals. You’d be amazed how painful it is when they come crashing down and it creates an automatic power imbalance which is very hard to recover from. Love is wonderful, but get rid of the idea that it conquers all. Infatuation and obsession are fantastic, flighty sensations – but REAL love (the kind that lasts, adapts and nurtures) grows out of trust, respect, companionship and two strong people with healthy mindsets.
Neither should being there for somebody
People are great – being there for them, supporting them through hard times – these are all important things. However, you can’t take on the world’s problems as your own. It can be frustrating to watch a friend suffer unnecessarily, or see a family member make a poor decision, but while you can listen, empathise and advise, you cannot force your opinions on others nor bear the weight of their problems when you have your own baggage to haul around every day! When you try to solve everyone’s problems, you also risk crossing the line from caring to controlling, so watch those tendencies, no matter how good your intentions!
That it’s OK to be wrong
Oof, the ego takes a bruising, doesn’t it? But it’s OK to hold your hands up and say “I was wrong” – nobody’s perfect or right all the time, after all! It commands so much more respect than trying to twist reality or being in denial.
That it’s OK to change your mind
Try to never hold anyone to anything – not even a relationship or marriage. People change, circumstances change, feelings change – sometimes it can be so difficult to change your mind when you’ve made big promises but if it’s for the best, you must. Blindly clinging on to past ideals because that’s what you initially said is a sure way to leave misery in your wake.
That extreme ideas are never good ones
I’m the eternal pragmatist – I guess I should have been a lawyer. I can usually see both sides of an argument and seek a rational compromise. I find it difficult, then, to see people with blinkered and illogical world views. I feel like shaking them and asking them why they can’t see that what they think is just one facet over a big, multi-faceted truth! If you’re trained to think one way, don’t only read and engage with ideas that support your existing philosophies – look at the other extreme, read centrist arguments and try to find your own middle ground.
That some people aren’t mean to be in your life forever
Don’t cling on to dead friendships and relationships, or dynamics that no longer serve you because you feel you HAVE to make it work. Some people are only meant to be in your life for a short period of time, and if someone is regularly behaving in a way that you can’t tolerate, it’s OK to let them go with love, without a big falling out or drama.
That honesty is the best policy
I’d rather be angry with someone for something I know they’ve done than feel betrayed or disappointed when I find out about something they’ve done that they’ve concealed from me. The truth hurts, sure, but once it’s out there, you can often recover. Lies and deception are much harder to come back from.
Do you agree with the lessons listed here? Would you have said anything different? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box!