2014 was both the best of times and the worst of times. There were way too many deaths and so much political and emotional heartache that I am thrilled to close the chapter of 2014 and start anew. The best part of 2014 happened when I started achieving my dreams. I traveled more, loved more, and learned more. At the end of the year, I reflect on the 10 most important lessons learned this year:
10 It is not enough for me to trust God and let go; instead, I have to continually chase after Him.
Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? Have you felt that like you needed something better out of life? In 2014 I had to break-free from providing for everyone without taking quiet time to talk to my Creator. I had to stop pleasing people (who were never satisfied) and learn how to dream my own dreams. I had to find time to get to know God for myself. I had to stop talking long enough to hear the Creator’s still small voice. I stop listening to others prophesy about my life and what I should be doing and really find out which direction the Lord was leading me.
9 Love can only be received when you love yourself.
Although I’ve been married for almost 9 years, love was anomaly. This year, my husband and I faced by some of toughest trails we have ever experienced in our lives. It was learning how to live in the midst of the life and death trails, that I learned we really love each other unconditionally. For the first time in a long time, I felt excitement again when he entered the room. Even alone with my thoughts about him, a smile would appear on my face. Eros, the type of romantic love that a spouse should have for their mate, finally became real. I understood it, I felt it, and I embraced it. I’m so excited to share that my husband brings me joy.
8 Love yourself unconditionally.
Unfortunately, I lived most of live trying to live up to the expectations of others. As the youngest of 5 it was very easy for me to lose sight of myself by following after the vision others placed before me. As a child I followed my mom, then my sisters, later my friends, and most recently my husband. For many years, I was simply going with the motions of life, without knowing who I really was. I was clouded by the noise of the world around me without looking inside to see how I wanted my life to be. I was afraid to challenge the status quo and I found myself content with being mediocre.
So what changed? I let go of people who used me for my talents but didn’t care about me. To release them from my life, was like receiving new skin with unclogged pores. For the first time in years, when I looked in the mirror the person on the outside matched the person on the inside. I am happy with the woman I am today. I believe that I am capable of learning. I am at a place of growth. I am not afraid of challenges. I am whole.
I have let go of doubt, depression, pain, and fear. I have accepted that I as long as I see another sun rise, there is hope to work hard and begin again.
7 Spirituality isn’t defined by fellowship.
Here’s the facts, some people will fail you and society cannot be trusted. However, I believe relationships are undeniably important, but they do not dictate God’s relationship with us as His children. Serving others is just an expression of our love, but there is not a standard blueprint for how we should serve. God has given different people a vast number of skills and talents that can help others. While we need to use our talents, we don’t need to be shamed or stricken with guilt by fulfilling the ideals of others. Instead we need to develop our own relationship with God and seek Him for guidance.
6 Parenting is an unrestrained gift.
Hearing that I love parenting is not a surprise nor is it a new phenomenon. However, this year, I learned that by being gifted with children, there is an element of freedom that exists by being responsible for another person. The desire to control is natural, but the love to release and guide is the most beneficial.
5 To compare yourself with others is to rob yourself of authenticity.
Everyone is different. That is exactly what makes us interesting. My unique experiences are all blessings that have helped mold me into a determined entrepreneur and mother. No one can take away the lessons learned from trial and error, the takeaways leftover help shape our future decisions.
4 Giving up is not an option.
My favorite verse in the Bible is ” For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Luke 12:48. It’s much easier to give up and stop trying then to persevere. This year, I that I can endure, even when a situation is very tough and my heart isn’t in it. I can still finish strong. So many people have failed or been rejected. However a successful person gets back up and tries again. A successful person fully believes that they are worthy of receiving a positive outcome.
3 Laziness is a window into poverty.
Regardless of whether you make money or not, if a person is lazy, success will only be temporary. Taking the easy route, instead of trying to be strategic, networking, and learning how to think creatively will only cause disappointment and failure. Success thrives in a hardworking environment.
2 It’s okay to change when necessary.
I had to learn how to leave my attitude at the door. Yes, I had to learn how to let go of past what-ifs and leave my attitude issues behind. Love abounds in 2015!
1 In essence, don’t be afraid to grow up.
This year, I said goodbye to a little girl who wasn’t ready for the real world. I defined what happiness means to me and I embraced the talents gifted to me by the Lord. I stopped being afraid to take risks and I’ve set out to live my life with no regrets! What were your most memorable lessons learned this year?