When the wheels of the plane touched down from the sky and onto the ground, I felt a jolt of excitement and energy inside. It was a pleasant flight, and there was a lovely man that sat beside me and we talked for a while. It was such a smooth trip. It’s always around the time where the end of the year is drawing close, where I find myself reflecting about the memories and experiences during the year. The wonderful people that I’ve been lucky to encounter and the lessons learned. No matter how old we are, we are always learning something new every day. The blessing of life is that we are always learning and growing. I’ve been incredibly grateful this year to feel really far less anxiety.
Most of lifes worries come from the moments we have sadness or regret from the past, fear in the moment or worry for the future. Yet, very often the worry doesn’t help and is often created in our mind. I really think those sort of feelings are what causes one to feel anger, resentment, and anxiety. It’s true that no one is perfect, and we shouldn’t judge anyone. We all make mistakes, but the important part is to learn from them. An aspect that we must remember is to focus on a person’s actions, and not what they say. It’s something I really am still in the process of learning, as I’m quite a sensitive soul and some things I can take directly to the heart. However, a person’s actions can clearly show their love and care.
The importance of forgiveness. The person we sometimes or often don’t forgive is ourselves. We may hold certain things inside, and bottle them up only to be filled with bitterness for a certain situation. The art of letting go is powerful. When we hold certain things inside, it can weigh on our heart, and leave us walking with a heavy load on our shoulders. Learning to forgive ourselves or others is a process, but really no one is perfect and every person just wants to be loved.
It’s okay to make mistakes. In some ways, I would describe myself as a perfectionist in certain areas of my life. I’m someone who likes to be able to plan things. However, life is unpredictable, and sometimes, well, things don’t always go to our plans. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s just something that allows us to grow. It reminds me of the speech by JK Rowling when she said that “You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Learn to not take things personally. I remember as a music student, I would take things to heart because I really wanted to do well. If the feedback was that I needed to improve here and here, I would practice until I felt it was at a high standard. Words of advice don’t need to be personal, as we can decide whether to take the advice. But, there is no harm in listening from others experiences. Our experiences can affect how we perceive things. If someone is rude or mean to me, I can feel upset in the moment. Most of the time, it’s truly a reflection of how that person is feeling. I think of when I have been angry towards someone, it’s usually because I have bottled up a lot of anxiety, stress, worry, fear or anger inside.
Allow experiences to strengthen you. Failure, mistakes, experiences. They all allow us to become stronger. I still remember only just a few years ago, I cried nearly every single day. I felt so incredibly low and helpless at the time. It’s something that’s helped in order to be more understanding and empathetic towards others. The experiences we have can give us insight to ourselves, and allow us to understand ourselves more and more. I like to think that everything happens for a reason, even when it’s not always easy to understand why. We have these experiences that happen in our lives to teach us something.
Don’t worry about the past or the future. When I used to have panic attacks, they were often triggered by my anxiety. Anxiety can be debilitating, as they feed off of your past memories, and make you overthink about the future. They tell you to stay away from the present moment (which is really the only moment we are in full control of). But, we really have a choice. The only true contentment in life is when we are wholeheartedly living in this moment right now. It’s when we focus on what is happening now, and what we can do now. It’s accepting that what has happened in the past, has happened, and allowing the moments to come to come as they will. It makes me think of the word flow.
The Art of not giving a fudge. When I was at the Auckland airport, I was looking at some of the books, and there was one that captured my eye. The title read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. We waste a lot of time caring about things that we shouldn’t really be caring too much about, rather than spending time giving a fudge about the important things in life. When we care less, we can actually be a lot happier. I think this concept is important because sometimes we might care too much about what others think, finding external validation or even things such as having to reply to messages immediately. We have a choice and we create meaning in our own lives. From Psychology Today:
Eight Things That People Care Way Too Much About
According to Manson, some of the most common things people care way too much about include:
- Impressing other people
- Being right all the time
- Being “successful”
- Being pleasant and polite
- Being happy
- Feeling good all the time
- Being “perfect”
- Feeling secure and certain
Number 4 really hits hard for me, because the impression that people tend to have from me is that I’m a soft-spoken, friendly and polite person. However, I’ve really started to care less this year, if someone might not like me because I’m being quite assertive and direct. It might come off as rude because it’s probably a big contrast from my polite self. But if I’m always nice, then people will take advantage of that which is why we have to care less. I’ve had to care a lot less what people think for my own well being. Whether it’s needing to say ‘no’ to something or when people have their own judgments about something. Naturally, we won’t agree on everything with everybody, and that’s okay.
The only limitation is the one in your mind. You only fail, if you have already built a cage in your mind. It’s those thoughts and feelings that can really affect what actions we take. If you tell yourself you can’t, then you probably won’t have the motivation to strive for success. If you are positive and motivated, you are far more likely to be driven and hardworking. Learning to see things from a bird’s eye view or from outside the box, allows us to see things from a different perspective. You have to know that you can! You absolutely can!
God loves me, even when I feel my weakest. No matter where we are in life, what period we’re in, what season we’re walking in, God loves you. He loves you unconditionally. There are times we might wonder why this is happening or why am I feeling this way, and that’s when we have to come to God no matter what. He is always there. There have been times where I’ve felt helpless, and yet it’s always been through prayer and putting my faith in God that I’m able to become stronger and lifted up. There is a powerful bible verse that reads I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. It’s such a great verse to repeat to yourself as you go about your day, and know that the presence of God is right there with you.
Surrounding oneself with positive people. Positive people support, motivate, care and love one another. You can really lift one another up. I’ve found if someone talks about the past or future too often, it can become a bit draining over time. It’s important to surround ourselves with people who are honest, caring and allow one another to lift each other up, to be their best self. A smile, a laugh is so contagious! Plus, it feels good.
The importance of communication. Communication is EVERYTHING. So much so, I like to joke sometimes that’s why I chose a Communication degree. Although, that really is one of the reasons why. I truly think Communication is everything. The times that I’ve had an argument with someone often comes from miscommunication, and often feelings can get in the way. So many relationships fall out are often from lack of clear communication. Our feelings are powerful, but we have to be in tune in the sense that we can get caught in the heat of the moment. That is why it’s better to say things to a person rather than holding it in. At the end of the day, we are all students of life.