This is a long one (but worth it, promise). Here’s a song to listen to while reading. Enjoy!
Hi Daily Warriors!
It’s almost the end of the year, and most of us can’t help but reflect on all that’s happened so far. Hence, I listed down the learning experiences I encountered in the past few months.
1. Prayer works wonders.
I’m an imperfect person who messes up so many times, and I tend to get too ashamed to even talk to God sometimes. Even so, when I’m at my darkest… I can’t help but get on my knees and pray.
There are times when everything just gets to be too much, and I feel like giving up. I have nothing to hope for, no one to hold on to. When people pray for me, and I release my heart out to God… I just get that peace beyond understanding. It’s comforting.
2. Don’t give up on yourself.
Aside from having faith that God would pull me through all circumstances, it was VITAL not to give up on ME. It’s amazing how we can be so hard on ourselves sometimes.
I had days when I hibernated away from the world, locked in my room. All the stress was just overwhelming, the negative thoughts were so loud. But it’s important that we CHOOSE to overcome our emotions and trials.
This blog has been an enormous blessing to me. As I wrote tips and advise on fighting the daily emotional and mental battles we go through, I was learning to cope with it myself.
3. Focus on what unites, not what divides.
This has been a very interesting year, to say the least. There have been a lot of conflicts over politics, religion, and other topics in general. It seems like the keyboard warriors are multiplying. Aside from that, we as humans capable of thinking for ourselves do not always have the same opinions.
I seriously got scared at times when my friends had a different point of view than I did, but I stand for what I believe in. Other people actually unfriended each other over social issues. Though, I have a simple concept when it comes to that. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Focus on what binds people together, not what sets them apart.
We don’t always have to agree, but that doesn’t mean we should disrespect each other. Besides, if every one of my friends had the same viewpoints in everything I did, life would be boring. Won’t it?
I’m usually neutral when I’m not well-informed, but I stand for truth and peace.
4. People need each other.
One of my brothers had a heart attack last April. He needed open heart surgery to fix/replace 3 valves of his heart, and we did not have the money for it. He also did not have the insurance to cover the medical bills. Due to our family’s circumstances, I was left with no choice but to get out of my comfort zone. With the encouragement of some awesome friends, I organized several fundraising events called “Music for Life”.
It was a really hard time in my life (as an introvert, I really got out of my cocoon there), but there were so many people who helped: church community, friends, family, spoken word artists, production teams, musicians, business owners, relatives. After so much hard work and lots of prayers from everyone, my brother had his operation and is now doing okay.
It was through this experience that I witnessed how people can be so amazing when they work together.
5. True friends show themselves during tough times.
During the months that my brother was in the hospital, some people somehow found a way to lend a hand despite their busy lives. Even people I haven’t talked to in years asked me how they can help. They shared their talent, time, effort, prayers, and some even donated to the cause.
I experienced firsthand that real friends will be there for you during the hard times no matter how long you haven’t spoken or seen each other.
6. Be true to yourself.
I grew up a goody-two-shoes teacher’s pet and a people-pleaser. I apologize for things I probably didn’t even do, and I adjusted how I acted depending on who’s around. It takes a long time to get past old habits, but being true to who you really are is liberating.
I speak my mind, release my thoughts, and do what I want without worrying about what others think anymore. (Not as much, anyway. Hey, I’m a work in progress. *wink*)
7. You can care about people from a distance.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I tend to be altruistic. Sometimes too much for my own good. People can take advantage of you when you’re there to help them out all the time.
This year, I learned how to care for a loved one from a safe space of letting them learn how to fend for themselves. There are some people who we need to keep a certain distance from, to preserve our own well-being.
8. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s a choice.
Forgiveness is an internal decision to free ourselves from the chains of bitterness and hurt from the past. It doesn’t mean we have to forget, or that we will be making ourselves vulnerable to the same situation. Sometimes, we hold on to pain while that person doesn’t even care. Who suffers more?
We need to give ourselves the freedom to have peace of mind and let go. This is something I apply in my life when people do awful things. I have two options, let thoughts of their actions pester me every single day… or forgive and make sure that I’m no longer in a place for it to happen again.
9. If you wait until you’re ready, it might never happen.
Sometimes, I think of the most ideal scenarios before I act on on a goal. I wait until I’m “ready”. This year, I realized that there’s a major disadvantage to this mindset. If I always wait until I’m fully equipped for something, I may never get to do anything.
I won’t always know what to say in a job interview or how to take that next step in my career. I’m not yet that articulate in writing, so should I not post on my blog? If I did not overcome this thinking, I probably won’t have this awesome experience with the blogging community that I am in right now. There will be fears, second thoughts, and doubts. So, how do we handle them?
We need to ask ourselves how much we really want to achieve our vision. If we seriously want to pursue something, the time for action is always NOW.
10. History does repeat itself, but only if you let it.
The longer I spend on this world we live in, the more I notice patterns of behavior among every person I encounter. Some learn from their mistakes, others go through the same thing again and again. Then, they ask themselves “Why is this happening to me?”
Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
We should take some time to reflect on the unhealthy thinking and behavioral patterns in our lives. When we realize the cause of the repetitive cycles of turmoil, we can make a change in perspective or circumstances. Either way, we’ll be more capable to make a difference.