14 Life Lessons Learned and Relearned in 2014

Run Into 2015 with a Few Important Life LessonsIt’s the last day of the year, and we’re all summarizing, dissecting, evaluating the last 12 months in our heads. Was it a good year, did we acquire any new life lessons, did we accomplish something new, did we lose, did we win – how’d it go?

For me, 2014 was such a great year that I’m almost sad to see it go – it’s truly amazing how much can change in the span of one orbit around the sun! In Sonia’s world, 2014 was a year of renewed strength, of change, of battling fear – and dare I say winning! – of adventure, of laughter and lots of action. Now that I talk about it, I think I need a nap – but one of those my heart and belly are so full that I could use a good snuggle-to-bask-in-the-glory-of- it-all naps. But since I have to get ready to go out and bid farewell to this incredible year, I’ll stay awake instead and share some life lessons I learned and relearned this year – hopefully they can bring you a little insight to run into 2015 with.

Here we go!

Life Lessons #1: The healing process is greatly aided when you make a decision to move on, make plans to help in that decision, and stick to them like your life depends on it – because well, it does.

Life Lessons #2: You never truly forget someone you once loved, but you CAN find ways to move on and focus on lessons rather than on negatives. You can come out of pain victorious – but you have to make the decision to do so!

Life Lessons #3: People say I plan too much – but in 2014, I learned and relearned, that without a plan, nothing gets accomplished. On the other hand, with a solid plan and solid action, the world can be yours. But listen, don’t get crazy – you can’t and don’t have to plan every second, but set some goals, think about what you want, and make it happen. Just like this…1, 2, 3…!

Life Lessons #4: Treat your happiness like it’s your job – work hard at it, put effort into it, commit to it – and stop waiting for other people to get it done for you, because they never will.

Life Lessons #5: If you are secure in who you are, no one can bring you down for long- so if you don’t know yourself quite yet, get to knowin’ right now!

Life Lessons #6: People will always try to tell you who you are, what to do, how to do it, and what choices to make – be patient with them and know yourself enough to nod politely, walk away peacefully, and then make your own decisions. Only you know what truly works for you – don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Life Lessons #7: When people question us and our characters, it hurts. Listen, take it in, re-evaluate, and take what makes sense while throwing out what doesn’t. Just because someone has an opinion, it doesn’t make it fact.

Life Lessons #8: Change is incredibly scary, but stagnation is death. Take some chances, risk something, make the change your life, mind, body and spirit crave – you’ll get through the scary stuff, I promise. But never going for it will always weigh on you. It might even kill you.

Life Lessons #9: There’s a lot of things in life we can control and many others that we simply cannot. Focus on what you can control, and stop beating yourself up about the things you can’t. You will be so much more at peace this way!

Life Lessons #10: Measure your life by the things that matter to you instead of constantly trying to live up to someone else’s definition – because try as you may, you never, ever will.

Life Lessons #11: When you go through something hard, share the lessons you’ve learned, share your wisdom – help someone else get through it a little faster or easier than you did. It’s cathartic, it’s good for the soul, and it puts healing out into the universe – you don’t have to be a writer to make a difference with your stories. Don’t be stingy – and share. It makes a huge difference!

Life Lessons #12: There’s something about turning 30 (at least for me) that makes you appreciate your parents more – understand them more, give them more credit, thank them more. Maybe it’s the realization that they won’t be here forever or having a deeper understanding of your own imperfections. Whatever it is – it’s a beautiful, beautiful place to be. Cherish it, and make sure to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Life Lessons #13: Your life is yours to make – so stay alert to all the people and things that try to divert you – because you will encounter about a bazillion, and never, ever forget it.

Life Lessons #14: Happiness is not about perfection – it’s about taking all of the many imperfections and working with them, around them and through them – declaring loudly, “You can’t stop me!”

That’s it for today, folks. Here’s to a 2015 filled with even more life lessons – and more good, more smiles, more love, more positive change, less bad, less frowns, less hate, and as little negativity as humanly possible – because, well, negativity is just YUCKY! That’s right – I said it – with the same disgust a toddler gives his broccoli – YUCKY!

Always keep your eyes open – those life lessons can be a little sneaky sometimes, but they’re there. Happy New Year ya’ll!

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

A Circular Progression: Changing Hate to Love

 


Changing Hate to Love Hey ya’ll, and happy Wednesday! Guess what? I’ve got a little, big somethin’ on my mind and in my heart, so I thought we’d have a little chat about changing hate to love.

Here’s the thing – and get ready to get deep with me for a minute here. As human beings, it is perhaps one of our greatest misfortunes that so much of our history is plagued with dark, fear-rooted, often unreasonable, purely wasteful hate. We hate and hurt each other because we are different. We judge and ostracize each other because we don’t agree. We kill each other because we are greedy, self-centered, jealous and cruel. And recent events only confirm this circular progression and perpetuation of senseless, incredibly unproductive hate where I fire, and you fire back, then I fire again, and it never ends, until our spirits are defeated, and there is no one left to fire back at.

Still, on the other side of all of that – we are all basically good (I believe) and basically the same. We all have blood coursing through our veins, thoughts in our heads, people and places that we love, things that we care about, feelings we feel. Every color, every size, every shape, every origin, every preference – smiles, cries, loves and hurts – in much the same way.

And yet, we focus so much on all the ways in which we are different – finding fear in the unknown, thinking we have to understand each other in order to respect each other, believing we have to love or get along with everyone in order to believe they are worthy of the same rights we enjoy, thinking basic kindness should only be reserved for those who reflect back what we see in our own mirrors. We work against each other instead of with each other – toward war instead of toward change. We pick and choose who we deem worthy of basic humanity. We perpetuate hate. We feed it. We light it up. And in the end, nothing is accomplished. Our problems get bigger, our pain becomes deeper, and our lives become broken.

There’s another way. We can start changing hate to love today if we just try to be a little more intentional with our interactions, and open our hearts a little more to the basic humanity we all share. Think about it. What if we just focused on all of the ways in which we are human, and made a real, conscious effort to lead with love and light – whenever possible and as much as possible – and left everything else behind? Couldn’t we be more productive, more efficient, more fulfilled, healthier, happier, brighter, and less plagued? Couldn’t we start changing hate to love? I think so.

And listen, I can’t change your ideas, your beliefs or your prejudices – whatever they may be, but I just urge you to think in terms of kindness, think in terms of humanity, think in terms of our shared experiences rather than our polarizing fears. Remember that the hate you emanate breeds darkness and contempt in your own life and heart – and in the lives and hearts of those you care about too. Wouldn’t you like to see a little changing-hate-to-love action happening in your own life and between those you love?

Don’t worry. We can start small. Let’s be nice to each other – classic, simple, straightforward NICE. Let’s open doors for each other and forgive people when they bump into us. Let’s say please and thank you. Let’s offer up a hand and help. Let’s not respond to hate with hate – let’s think for a moment that maybe a person who is being hateful is suffering – maybe they had a bad day, maybe they don’t feel well, maybe they’re scared – and let’s fire back with a smile. Let’s start changing hate to love. Let’s say good morning. Let’s say excuse me. Let’s be polite to people we don’t understand, to people different from us, to people who might scare us. Let’s be open and honest. Let’s communicate. Let’s not pick and choose who we are kind to on a daily basis – instead – let’s just choose kindness – every time. Let’s start changing hate to love!

I’m not saying these small acts will change our deeply wounded world in moments, days, months or even years – but the sum of days full of small decisions to lead with light and love instead of with darkness and hate – I believe can begin to mobilize slow, meaningful, purposeful, continuous change, and light a path towards something better so that future generations can live in a world with a little more understanding, a whole lot more love, and a little less war.

I don’t know – maybe I’m being overly simplistic or entirely idealistic. Still, call me crazy if you must, but I think it might just work. Come on – are you up for it? Let’s band together and start changing hate to love today.

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Photo © Ivelinr | Dreamstime.com – Love Or Hate Photo