8 Truths I Wish I Knew Sooner (Part 1)
Life is interesting, the older I get, the more I realize that I wish I knew certain life truths earlier. Sometimes, it appears as though what I knew to be true a few years ago, no longer holds true today, but such is life. It keeps evolving, our priorities change and so do our values and beliefs. These changes ultimately impact positively or negatively our view of life. Below I list certain truths and aha moments I have experienced along the way.
It’s okay to sit with your feelings – Sometimes, due to our cultural orientation or religious beliefs, we feel guilty when we experience of express negative emotions. We think it’s a sign of weakness to admit those feelings so we are constantly in a hurry to bypass those emotions and/or to relegate traumatic life events. Anger, pain, resentment, frustration and depression are regular emotions experienced by all. While it’s not beneficial to remain in that negative state, it’s helpful to explore why we feel the way we do and to develop mechanisms to help us cope in the event that such emotions return. So for instance, it’s okay for a person to grieve the loss of a loved one.
They must be allowed to cry, talk about it, etc. It’s not helpful to ask such a person to refrain from crying however it would be needful to guide the individual in finding practical ways to cope
with that loss. The reality is that whenever we fail to “sit with our feelings and to explore further”, we lose the opportunity to confront ourselves and to re-align or framework. When we fail to
confront ourselves, those emotions will always surface and will affect other pertinent areas of our lives. So, take time to sit with your feelings and to develop a plan of overcoming them. Don’t
sweep it under the carpet because it will always come back to haunt you.
Growing up is hard to do – When I was younger, I was convinced that life as a kid was so unfair. I felt restricted and controlled and I couldn’t wait to have my freedom. Being an adult seemed like the best thing that could ever happen to any human. Alas, I grew up and the “freedom” I was anticipating was finally a reality. No one told me that growing up came with its own set of responsibilities. Perhaps, even if they tried, I would not have understood. Being an adult entails making tons of decisions, and countless mistakes, some of which have dire consequences. I romanticized about being an adult and, in the process, I became oblivious to the facts of life. Although it’s not a cake walk, there are great aspects to being an adult. So embrace this stage of life and make the best out of it. Take time to learn from your mistakes.
You will not like everyone you meet and not everyone you meet will like you – This is hard to admit but it’s true; so don’t spend your lifetime trying to making people like you. We were not created to like everyone or for everyone to like us. Sometimes, people have their own reasons for feeling the way they do about us and we can’t necessarily control that. Other times, we create reasons for people to dislike us and vice versa. While we may not like everyone, we must still LOVE everyone. You don’t need to share the same values or beliefs, or look the same as the next person, but we must love each other. Loving means viewing and treating everyone as a human being in spite of our differences. And by the way, it’s okay to disagree with someone on an important issue and still love them. Your life will be so much richer if you admit and practice this truth.
No one has it all together – It’s great to have mentors and to be inspired by people who have accomplished so much as long as we don’t Idolize them. Truth is, NO ONE has it all together. Don’t believe the hype that a particular person is all- round perfect. There is always room for improvement. The best of men are still fallible and we are all striving each day to get better. The only perfect person is God, so fix your eyes on Him and His standards, and make that your yardstick.
I will continue with points 5 -8 next week, but in the meantime, feel free to share your own truths as well. Until then, be well and take care of yourself.