I remember as a child I was so eager to grow up and do “cool adult things” on my own. I was always an independent child and mature beyond my years. I had goals – all of which consisted of “growing up”. I didn’t realize this then, but boy was I naive! When I hit 20 I thought knew every thing I needed to know. I was so convinced that everything was going to be easy after being an adult. NOPE. Life ain’t easy, but going through the ups and downs of life is certainly rewarding. I feel like every year of our lives teach us something, but we don’t necessarily LEARN them until we need to apply them to our lives. Or when you realize why something did or didn’t happen. In my opinion there’s always a reason behind everything that happens and it serves as opportunities for growth. The older you get the more you have to figure out in this world and for yourself. Every year, no matter how old you are, is a new chapter with new lessons and sometimes repeated ones. 20 to 29 years have been a year of growth for me… and here are some of the things I’ve learned:
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- GRATITUDE. There will be times in your life when you wonder or complain about why you’re going through a hardship or a battle. I’m guilty of asking God “why me” or “why are they so lucky and not me?” It’s so easy to get caught up in other’s Snap Chat or Instagram highlight reels and compare ourselves to their 5 second posts. Without realizing it, we can begin to harvest envy and jealousy in our hearts. Instead of comparing, look at other’s successes with happiness and use that admiration and turn it to hope. Say to yourself “yes, one day I will obtain that”. I have learned that once I began to look at what I did have, rather than what I didn’t, life became so much happier. This is simply being grateful for all that you have. If you’re waiting on a blessing, hang in there lovely, it will come. Everyone’s journey is different and beautifully complicated in its own way.
- FRIENDSHIP. There will be opportunities to nourish old friendships and to start new ones. At the end of the day seek those who serve as a a positive influence in your life. If you lose a friend, don’t be so hard on yourself as to why the friendship didn’t work out. Some people are meant to be in your life for certain amount of times. Don’t be afraid to make new friends and always seek to better yourself through learning from others. Celebrate others’ victories
- KINDNESS. Be kind in any and every situation and to anyone who crosses your path. Kindness is not a weakness, it’s strength in love.
- BEING POSITIVE. Such a simple phrase, but why is it so hard sometimes? Ah, because we tend to let negativity be fueled in our minds. Strive to be positive in all that happens. If your car broke down and you’re late to your meeting, look on the brighter side. Turn any negative thought and focus (again) on GRATITUDE. The simple formula of focusing on what you do have rather than what you don’t have at any particular moment will be a win for you in the long run.
- DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Life is way too short to stress or rethink about something that did or didn’t happen. Let the small things go. Look at the bigger picture.
- IT’S OK TO BE WRONG. Being wrong and admitting that you were wrong is a strength. It’s completely ok to not always know everything.
- LISTEN. Often times I didn’t realize how much I needed to learn how to just listen. I think faster than I can speak and forget things easily, so I would try to get my point across afraid that I would forget my point rather than sitting back to listen. Listening is the key to successful relationships and opportunity to help or to learn more about others and yourself.
- APOLOGIZE. Even when you’re hurt by someone else, always listen to see what you may have done wrong. Realize it, acknowledge, and genuinely say sorry for your actions.
- DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL. A lot of times I would think about what others thought about me. Many of times, things people say or do about you or in general have nothing to do with you and all to do with them. Remember, you cannot change anyone. You are only responsible to change yourself for the better.
- EXPECTATIONS. When we expect things from people and they don’t become a reality, we set ourselves to disappointment.
- FORGIVENESS. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and forgive those in your past in order to move forward in a healthy way. Unforgiveness harvests all kinds of psychosomatic illnesses and feeds on bitterness. Forgiveness keeps relationships, clears up the soul, and beautifies!
- EMOTIONAL WEALTH. Do what you gotta do to get to a positive mental state. If you feel sad, seek someone to speak to, if you’re depressed speak up, if you are being negative, try your very best to get out of that rut. Don’t be ashamed of speaking up. We are all imperfect and all go through hard times. Hiding and isolating yourself won’t help. This emotional wealth will create an inner joy and confidence in you.
- HOPE. Keep your hopes alive. Don’t give up on them and don’t give up on yourself.
- BE FEARLESS. So many of my downfalls came from fear of the unknown. Most of the time, there are greater things on the other side of fear. Fear can cripple you. Jump, climb, move that fear aside and do what you gotta do overcome it! Feel the fear and do it anyway!!
- LOVE. Read I Corinthians 13 and try to apply it. Without love we are nothing. Love is so much more than just saying it – it’s patience, forgiveness, kindness, humility, appreciation, trust, believing and hoping.
- PUT YO’ PHONE DOWN! We are living in an era where our phones have become our form of connection, virtually. It has creeped up on us and has made us anti-social when it comes to interpersonal situations. So, the next time you’re out meeting with a friend or family, put your phone down and be physically and mentally PRESENT at that moment. Don’t miss out on spending time with people. And also, unplug and enjoy nature once in a while. Fresh air and a walk in the park does wonders.
- PRAY. Don’t just pray when you go to church or when things are bad. Pray in gratitude and turn your thoughts into prayers. And pray for others.
- YOU ATTRACT WHAT YOU ARE. If you are negative, you will attract negativity. If you speak life to yourself and others, you will attract positive.
- GIVE. Serving others is rewarding. Help those without expecting anything in return. God’s got you in other ways, don’t worry.
- SHOW UP. There is so much value in simply showing up and being there for someone when you can. And even more so when you sacrifice your time in order to be there for someone. That is true character and friendship.
- LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. It’s ok to guard your heart and protect yourself from another heartache. But! don’t be afraid to open up and trust. It’s a risk you take, but a risk that can very well have a beautiful outcome.
- BE CONFIDENT. The beautiful thing about being a human being is that we are all so unique. Embrace your uniqueness and be confident in the things you can do and the things you do have. Chin-up lovely!
- CHOOSE GOOD. Someone recently told me I am lucky. I begged to differ. Everyone has a choice. Choose differently in every aspect of your life, whether it’s walking away from a negative relationship, or seeking a better job, for example. Create a plan of exit and choose better. Don’t ever settle for less.
- LET GO. Letting go of someone or some thing will be hard, especially if you’ve become comfortable. If it’s not meant for you, you will know it in your heart. Listen to that and let go. Blessings will flow once you let go of what you’re not supposed to be holding onto.
- VALIDATION. Stop waiting for someone to applaud you. Do what you love to do – there’s no need to impress or seek validation. Most of things have to be done on your own. Sometimes help will find you along the way. But if it doesn’t, don’t let that stop you.
- SEEK WISDOM & KNOWLEDGE. Join a group, have tea with an older friend or mentor, listen to grandma, read a book, research. Knowledge and wisdom are so valuable and there will always be more to learn.
- EVERYONE LOVES DIFFERENTLY. This goes hand in hand with gratitude and expectations. Seek the good in people and appreciate them for what they are capable of based on how much they know. If they weren’t loved a certain way when they were younger, appreciate them for the only way they know how to love and don’t expect them to love like you do.
- YOU ARE ENOUGH. Having a friend or a boyfriend or a husband does not give or take away your value. You are enough on your own. Be happy with yourself alone and then you will be able to allow yourself to add to that happiness within relationships.
- A TIME TO CRY AND A TIME TO LAUGH. It’s ok to express feelings. There’s a time to cry and laugh. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and transparent. Have a good cry when needed and then wipe those tears and keep it movin’. Joy comes in the morning. Laugh and have create good times for yourself and others! Seek those who add joy to tour life and enjoy the little things. Seek adventure and try new things.
Bonus #30. And most importantly, PUT GOD FIRST. Faith will be the very fountain that will allow you to overflow with happiness even through your toughest times. Seek God and all other things will fall into place beautifully. Trust me. When I tried other ways it didn’t work. God healed me from the inside out and that is why my beauty can come from within.
Thanks for reading! And as I always say, remember to smile often, love deeply, and live passionately! Stay Bella Goldin!
Until next time lovelies!