Life Lessons from 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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*)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Which of these life lessons particularly interested you? What are the top things you learned from your own experiences these past year?

You can write about it in your journal, make a post with the title “Life Lessons from 2016” and create a pingback, or simply share it in the comments! ❤
liz
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43 thoughts on “Life Lessons from 2016

    1. Hi Dolly. Glory to God. I couldn’t have survived all the stress I went through without divine intervention. I was mentally and physically breaking down… but I got through it and he got out of the hospital.

      He’s doing okay now, still a bit weak… but he’s managing himself well. Thank goodness.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am sure you are getting advice from all sides, but if I may stick my paw in, from my experience with my father’s similar surgery and recovery, as weak as he is (and it’ll take time!), physical exercise and the right diet are crucial. My father, may he rest in peace, had almost 20 active and productive years after the surgery, and his diet was far from good, no matter what I tried.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, any advise is always welcome. I love learning more about how others deal with similar experiences I write about. Thanks so much!

          My brother isn’t doing any tiring activities.. and he’s not working yet. Still in a recovery phase for now.. I think it’s been about 3 months since he got out of the hospital.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My father at first just got into the pool and walked a little, then started swimming little by little, and eventually was swimming for an hour every morning, but then he had always been a strong swimmer. Any kind of a small, non-stressful exercise at first, gradually increasing the level and length – I am sure there are some resources on the internet.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. You just did an amazing post, Liz! I’m inspired seeing your being “spiritual” coming out first from your mind. Prayers make wonder, I absolutely sure about that too. As humans, we are very limited and we have tons of flaws that weigh us down, we can’t get far enough in life without God. Prayer do helped me a lot in so many ways I can’t understand. I’m just grateful for the blessing of prayer.
    Keep it up! You’re awesome.
    I’m also inspired by what you did for your brother. Well done, Liz!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrei. That’s really good to know. Yeah, it’s just really a big part in my life. I know I wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for the strength I get from God.

      Thanks for comment about my brother. I was honestly very reluctant to do anything then because I was scared to move outside my comfort zone. But a friend told me, “What would you do for your family?” So that was that.

      Although, after the whole thing.. I decided that may be the last time I will do so much. Before he got out of the hospital, I was breaking down from all the stress. It wasn’t too good on my health, either. I had compassion fatigue… so I’m taking a lot of time for myself these days.

      Like

  2. Thank you for this post.. This year has been pretty bad for me and I felt much better after reading your post..
    You have amazing strength in the way you handled things 🙂 ..
    Hope your brother is doing well..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful, heartwarming post Liz, the more you write, the more I fall in love with your blog, this was inspirational. I’m too still learning to stop apologizing for things I didn’t even do, and I’m a work in progress but I have improved throughout 2016. I never imagined I would commence a blog, imagine I would ‘meet’ (well virtually) wonderful, inspiring bloggers like you. May God always bless the work of your hands, so that you may be a blessing to others, not only through your blog but through various means no one can currently imagine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww.. Thank you your awesomeness. Haha! ❤ Really, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Comments like these really lift me up. I guess we are here to help uplift each other. Let's be a work in progress together, shall we? ❤

      Like

  4. Some very good thoughts and advice here, Liz! I like the open and honest way you approach things! Keep pressing on to be better in Christ Jesus!!

    Enjoy your day,
    Steve 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You deserve it, Liz! May the Lord bless you as you seek Him in spirit and truth. And may you find grace as you walk with the Lord…we are all weak in the flesh. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have a continual washing away of our sins by the blood of Christ…(1 John 1:7).

        Enjoy your day, Liz!
        Steve 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello there

    This was one well-written article with good use of images. I find the following to be the biggest lesson that every single human being has learnt sometime during their lives:
    True friends show themselves during tough times.
    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.”

    Let’s connect? Visit my blog
    http://www.healthyliving894.com

    Kind regards
    Greta

    Liked by 1 person

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