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August 3, 2021

16 Lessons from a Life Well-Loved.

I have been blogging for a while now—journalising my life online.

It started when I became a mother and had deep postnatal depression. I thought I was alone and didn’t want anyone else to feel alone, so I shared my story—my ongoing fitness, health, and thought journey—in the hope that I could stop another person feeling paralysed by their thoughts or a lack of connection.

In January 2020, I published my first bookBrave, Beautiful and Baring it All. I shared how I came out the other side of personal traumas—including sexual assault, postnatal depression, and a suicide attempt—both stronger and happier. I also shared my journey of healing and the tools I use daily to handle all life has, will, and does throw at me.

I continue journaling online because I realise it builds connection, compassion, and love for what we are all searching for. When we see other souls trying their best imperfectly and owning who they are, it makes it easier for us all to do the same.

People say that I am brave for sharing so much about myself personally online. I don’t see telling my truths as brave. I just see them as being honest. I see that as respectful to who I am, to the sufferings I have endured, to who my daughter is growing to be, and to others, as well as a healing light, and aid to my growth as a human.

I see being vulnerable as an opportunity to learn to find peace for me and to connect with others. It’s life at its most honest point when we own our truth and it’s extremely healing to the world, others, and ourselves.

Personally, I think it’s what the world needs.

Maybe if society didn’t teach us to hide ourselves and stopped making us feel personal stories had so much shame attached, or that we are brave for sharing our truth, and instead taught us it was honest and the most human thing we could do, being vulnerable could be normalised. And as a society, we would be better at understanding each other and be more compassionate as a whole.

If we can be honest and see life and ourselves for who we are in the world, it will make a big difference to all of us who are struggling.

If being ourselves honestly is just another day living our full existence, maybe it will be our children’s too, and then perhaps they won’t have to build courage and be brave, just to be themselves. Maybe it will be the normal thing in the world and in turn the most liberating life changing generation on earth, because the truth heals and frees us all.

Time becomes our teacher and healer when we use it as a guide post, not a hitching post.

Here are 16 life lessons that I have learnt (and am still learning):

1. We spend so much of our life chasing. Chasing ideals, goals that aren’t ours, and things that don’t resonate with us. When we finally see this we can really start to live.

2. We often feel we should care for others and live up to other’s expectations, but we forget that even when we live up to one person’s expectations, we fall short on someone else’s, or our own. When we care for ourselves first we can care for others better. When we understand this, we see life is about the upward spiral of kindness.

3. We think that everyone is thinking about us, but in reality, everyone is thinking about everyone thinking about them. Once we realise this, we can truly focus on the things we want to do, instead of worrying about what others are thinking about us, and letting that stop us.

4. The ageing process is a gift, not something we should fight, but something we should celebrate. The only constant is change so let’s make the best of who we are in each moment. It doesn’t mean we can do more or less. Recognising this allows us to see that we have a gift of life that many no longer have and which we should use to the full.

5. Imperfect stands for “I am perfect” when broken down. No person is perfect, we are all just humans trying to find our joys, strengths, and selves in life, with whom we are, and what we have—making the best of all of it. When this sinks in, you can truly let go of judgment.

6. Nobody has figured it out. If someone did, we’d have the answer for how to keep fit, happy, healthy, have enough money, find the perfect partner, etcetera. However, the reality is that everybody is struggling, and if someone has money, a great body, or seems happy, this doesn’t mean it’s easy, or that they have it all figured out. Acknowledging this allows us to let go of comparison which is often the thief of our joy.

7. Negative bias is so strong that often no one sees what you do right, only what you fail at. When you understand negative bias, you will stop looking for approval and start doing things for the right reason.

8. One thing you may regret is the years you spent hating your body. We all do this. When you realise that those who love their body don’t feel that way because they have a perfect body, but because they made peace with it, your body will stop limiting and defining you, and you can start having fun, and using your vessel of life to experience the gift of life.

9. Health is so important, being stress free, worrying less, and fearing less is far more important than looking a certain way, or denying yourself of delicious food. When you understand that fitness is from the inside, movement and health becomes your medicine, happiness, and peace.

10. Material possessions and jobs are not as important to be remembered by as your love, kindness, smile, help, fun, and wisdom. Recognising this may help you to stop hiding behind your masks and things, and live more deeply, tell your stories unapologetically, and live more freely than you could ever imagine.

11. Life is not a chore, life is a daring adventure. Remembering that time flies and life is short, frees us to say yes to possibilities instead of saying no and living our excuses, regrets, fears, and limiting beliefs.

12. Progress is not linear and doesn’t show up in big milestones everyone can see. When we understand this, we realise progress can be waking up and getting out of bed earlier than nine a.m. Victories can be so small that nobody else will notice. A new start can feel like and look like nothing has changed, but we can honour it all, and feel the change, and be proud instead of ashamed.

13. The world is overwhelming for us and the most important person’s kindness and love we will ever receive is our own. When we see this and be gentle with ourselves our whole world becomes lighter again.

14. We forget that even the most beautiful people feel “not enough.” Even the smartest people feel unworthy. Even the kindest souls know hate, anger, and dismay. Even the strongest souls long for love. Knowing this means we are aware that we are not alone in our desires, and it’s okay not to be okay.

15. Everyone of us has our own definition of what is worthwhile in life. What may not seem important or trivial to us, may mean the world to another. When we see this, we will be able to hold compassion and empathy better for ourselves and others.

16. When we stop thinking in the future and our heart stops longing for the yesteryears, we remember the only time we have is now, the present. When you remember this you will find peace in today unwrapping all the gifts of the presence.

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