In some ways, I am experiencing deja vu, as I am ending this year much in the same way that I ended the last year, mourning the loss of some important relationships. That said, I also am ending it differently, as I am committed to taking the many lessons that I learned in 2013 and applying them to 2014. This isn’t about starting over, as much as it is about moving forward and doing even better now that I know better. It’s about progress, not perfection. I learned so much these past twelve months, and I have decided to share the five most significant lessons offered to me this past year.
I believe in others more than I believe in myself sometimes, and I will give second, third, fourth, etc. chances to others, warranted or not. During the past year, though, I learned that it is not in anyone’s best interest to give repeated chances to others when nothing has changed with them, with me, and/or with both. If you cannot learn from your mistakes, then it is time to move on and not allow the mistakes to repeat themselves.
This lesson complements the aforementioned lesson, and it has been a tough lesson for me to grasp. Call it wishful thinking on my part, but I tend to hope for the best and then am blindsided when the worst happens. I cannot control anyone other than myself, so, when I find myself repeatedly getting hurt, I have to take responsibility for putting an end to unhealthy patterns of behavior and toxic thought processes. Sanity can only be restored when I stop doing, saying, and thinking the very things that led to the insanity in the first place.
Too often, I am quick to say that I am sorry when I have nothing to be sorry for and put others’ needs and wants ahead of my own, all in the name of keeping the peace or trying to make a relationship or a situation work out the way I desperately want it to be. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with being kind and having a big heart, but I owe it to myself to not give away my heart to people who cannot treat it with the love and care that it deserves. I deserve to be a priority in my own life and to live without regrets.
This lesson is easier said than done, but I have learned it simply must be done. Letting go of my anxiety, depression, and fear is the only way that I can both hang on in the moment and move forward to a better and brighter future. I don’t know what the future holds, but that’s when I need to rely on my faith to trust that everything happens for my best interest and that all is well and will be well.
Much like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, I have come to learn that I have had the power to “go home”, which for me, means to be happy, the entire time. I do not have to rely on others and circumstances to be happy, and happiness is nothing that I have to wait for to happen. The choice to be happy in any given moment is mine, and I choose to be happy right now.
These are but a few of the many lessons that I learned in 2013, and as I prepare to welcome the new year, I will take them with me and head into 2014 with my big heart and even bigger dreams. My heart, mind, and eyes are wide open, and I am ready to learn new lessons and accept the new opportunities afforded to me in the upcoming year. Thank you for being such a great teacher, 2013, even when I wasn’t the best of students. Here’s to 2014 and more stories to tell!
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story