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The following are some lessons I’ve learned in my 39 years of life.
While these lessons are not necessarily monumental, and some may appear to be common sense, I’ve decided to share, as it may be useful to someone who needs to hear this message.
Lesson One: Be kind to others.
Life is tough, and we can use all of the help we can get. Offer to help someone. You can make their day easier in some way, speak kindly to them, or try to understand their perspective. I’ve learned that it’s helpful to keep in mind that others could be going through something that I know nothing about. Therefore, I have no right to criticize or judge.
People are usually doing the best they can, so be gentle with them.
Lesson Two: Tell people you appreciate them.
I’ve come to find out that you may be the only person who does. I know life is busy, but the truth is, we all want to feel as if we matter. We sometimes become too self-focused and do not tell others about the positive impact they’ve made on us. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s too late to tell someone how much they truly matter in our lives, and we are forced to live with that regret. Tell them while you still can.
Lesson Three: Become aware of your thoughts and feelings.
Through gaining awareness of our thoughts, we can fight against negative, distorted thinking. Our thoughts are directly related to our feelings, which in turn, are directly related to our behaviors. There’s strength in understanding these things. There’s also strength in sharing with others. Truly.
Lesson Four: Set appropriate boundaries.
Think about what you tolerate from yourself, as well as what you will tolerate from other people. Knowing your boundaries and clearly expressing them keeps you mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy. You have the right to say “no,” and you have the right to protect yourself against things that might be toxic to you.
Lesson Five: Demonstrate tolerance and try to be open-minded.
Not everyone is going to think like you, look like you, live like you, pray like you, and love like you. It’s just the way it is. I know sometimes we criticize and ridicule that which we do not understand. But why? We do not have to agree with, or even like others, but I’ve learned that being respectful is a sign of emotional maturity. If you do not understand something, ask and educate yourself. We are more alike than we are different. However, those differences are what make life interesting. You never know what you will learn from someone who is different than you.
Lesson Six: Love yourself.
I know this can be tough. Honestly, I still struggle with this daily. Recognize who you are, live your values, be proud of what you have accomplished, find the power to keep going, and understand how much of a frickin’ warrior you truly are. There is literally no one exactly like you. Embrace that, and realize that you are a special and important part of this world.
Lesson Seven: Never be afraid to ask for help.
Whether you are struggling with something trivial, or something as big as your mental health, please always reach out for help. Asking for help is okay and does not, in any way, make you weak. Please realize that you are important enough to be on this earth, and if you need help to keep going, that is perfectly okay.
I wish you happiness, peace, prosperity, and the awareness that you are enough. Never forget that, and always know that you can play a part in helping others realize this, as well.