|Me celebrating the big 4 - 4 at jiujitsu.|
Anywho, this year I thought I'd post a few things I've learned through 44 years of living. And, yes, I realize I've already posted about turning the "double 4" but that was kind of a wallowing rant. This is me getting a hold of myself! (Btw, my kids say going #4 in the bathroom is, THE WORST! So, when I say, "double 4," they look at me with equal parts fascination and sympathy. I don't know what #4 is and I'm not going to ask!)
1. Not everyone will like you. This is good. If you were always liked you’d be a wimp with no stories to tell.
2. Everyone has a story. Listen to it.
3. You can still like people that don’t like you. (Trust me. I do this ALL the time.) Their actions do not determine yours.
4. How you treat people is about YOU, NOT THEM.
5. Forgiveness is for you, not the person you are forgiving.
6. Forgive yourself.
7. Hurting is ok. Pain, whatever the kind, is a message. Listen to it. Get ok with it. Fix it a sandwich and a spot on the couch. Because the opposite of pain, not feeling, is not living. You don’t know true joy without knowing pain.
8. You do NOT have to be happy to be joyful.
9. Fear and anxiety are not the same thing. Fear gives, anxiety takes. Fear says, something is not right, protect yourself, you're worth it. Anxiety says, you’re not right, you’re defenseless, you’ll never be enough.
10. You’re totally enough.
11. Even if you don’t believe you can do something, go ahead and do it. It’s ok to be afraid. Really. If you aren’t afraid you aren’t brave and everyone should get the chance to be brave.
12. Hug people. This is a new one for me. I’ve only recently gotten comfortable with it. And, I have to say, to this day, I do not regret hugging anyone. But, I’ve watched them walk away without hugging them and wished I had.
13. When someone walks into the room, look at them and smile. ESPECIALLY YOUR KIDS. More than anything, most people just want to be acknowledged. Don’t do it so they will see you.
14. Don’t do things so folks will see it. Do it because it’s right. In fact, do good things and keep them to yourself.
15. It’s better to do right than be right.
16. Keep a few things to yourself.
17. Thank people. Even if it makes them uncomfortable.
18. Learn to be ok in your own company.
19. Genuinely compliment people. Some won’t believe you, some will think you are a butt-kisser. That’s about them, not you. Always compliment kids. Tell them they are wonderful because they are still figuring out who they are and you may be the only voice telling them who they are is great.
20. Treat yourself with respect because you are teaching people how to treat you.
21. Watch people. Watch how they move, gesture, and move through the world. You will learn things that they will never tell you.
22. Don’t expect other people to be you. Let them speak their own language. How they say I love you may not be how you say it and if you force them to say it your way, it’s not genuine.
23. Write something. It’s cathartic.
24. People will not change until it hurts too much to stay them same.
25. Make a change before it hurts too much to stay the same.
26. Go ahead and be vulnerable in front of people. Own your issues. If folks don’t like it, they aren’t your tribe. (See #1)
27. Make friends with people that make you want to be better than you are.
28. It’s ok to disagree. It opens your mind and can bring you closer to people. It’s ok to fight. But the first one to lose their temper, loses altogether. Hear a person out. Talk it out. Hug it out.
29. Shut up and listen.
30. Be a safe place for somebody. Let them mess up. Forgive them. Encourage them to forgive themselves.
31. Respect everyone until they give you a reason not to. Even if you don’t respect someone, treat them respectfully.
32. Tell a man you respect him. Tell a woman you love her. Because, if you treat a man respectfully, he will feel loved. If you treat a woman as if you love her, she will feel respected.
33. Get some sleep.
34. Rudeness will get you nowhere.
35. People who are excessively confident are not confident, they are guarded. And, you don’t put up walls unless you feel assailable.
36. Don’t be so guarded. Let somebody in.
37. Quit believing that the existence of something requires your belief! Look for fairies, portals, dragons and magic in the world. The more you look for the unlikely, the more likely you are to see the impossible. On that note, angels exist. And, maybe they are walking around with tattoos and tunnels.
38. Don’t let your faith hinge on what God does. Affix it to who He is. Just because He doesn’t, doesn’t mean He can’t. You don’t have to understand Him and there’s nothing wrong with saying you don’t understand Him. It doesn’t show lack of faith, it shows people that even if you don’t understand them, you will stand by them.
39. Everyone has something to teach. Everyone has something to learn.
40. Go ahead and cry.
41. Somebody being better at you at something doesn’t mean they are in fact better than you. And SO WHAT if they are! Do you really want the burden of being someone’s standard?
42. Read a book.
43. If someone is begging for attention, go ahead and give them a little.
44. Jesus is enough. He’ll always be enough. He won’t leave you feeling half empty. He loves you no matter what. Really.