I have learned a tremendous amount this past year. It's been months & months unlike any other of self discovery. The level of introspection and growth has been frankly astounding....a wild journey of rapid paced change. You know when you are growing & being pruned....it's a messy affair.
And I am standing here - on the other side of a lot of learning lessons - feeling grounded in Him. I am also admittedly tired from working so hard to get here. It was certainly worth it but, I don't want to paint a picture that I skipped through to this point. It was grueling work.
I wanted to share the 'Top 10' Lessons I have learned this past year. I have learned 100's of lessons yet narrowing this down to a list of ten was rather simple:
1. Talk to God about everything and anything before you talk to anyone else about it. We often go to our friends with our burdens without even going to God. Going to God first has been life changing for me personally. Since I have given my life to Him, I would include Him but, I used to listen to what those I trust recommend and THEN go to God. And now when I am in the midst of anything I need wise counsel over, I go to Him first. And I sit with Him and then He directs me who to include.
2. Be discerning about who you share your story with. I used to think that being in community meant putting all aspects of my life 'out there' as that builds intimacy in relationships. As a result, I basically invited people into my life that didn't have the best intentions. I entered into relationships with people that weren't healthy for me and I wasn't healthy for them. And I had to back peddle out of those relationships. I am incredibly discerning about my relationships now more than ever. I go to God first about who I am closest with. I also seek out wise counsel (often). Discernment is critical to healthy relationships. And having healthy discernment has taken me years but, I have arrived. And I must say, I am loving how God designed my inner circle.
3. Don't trust your emotions but do trust energy. Our emotions are like the wind - they have the potential to change as quickly as I just typed this sentence. Emotions are embedded into our neural pathways in our brains. It's rather fascinating. We can change them by changing our associations but, to rely on them for decision making, reactions or behavior is a no no. Trust me there. What I do trust is energy. I believe we all bring our energy with us into a room. And if I sense an energy that makes me feel uncomfortable, I honor that now right away. I don't 'wait and see'.
4. Don't let anyone tell you who you are. I surround myself with people who are really into growth and evolving as individuals. So when I encounter someone who I haven't seen for awhile or someone who just isn't into 'change', I notice they often tell me who I am. For example, I had a woman this past summer tell me 'Well you are a people pleaser' and I just smiled but, quietly to myself I thought 'No, I am not but, I used to be'. When anyone tells me who I am, I don't correct them but, I don't 'put on' their words anymore. I leave their words to them.
5. My value & worth is found in Christ & Christ alone. If you allow anything else but HIM to determine your worth, you will never be in the relationships that He wants you to be in. It's one thing to know this and yet another thing entirely to live this out. I am living this out and I so wish I accepted this years ago.
6. We are addicted to our burdens. And that is Satan's plan...not God's. I have really began to take notice of the types of conversations I enter into with others and myself. I could write a book on this topic alone but, I realize that bonding with others over the joys in life creates much greater intimacy than bonding over our burdens. Philippians 4:8.
7. We must stay ahead of the medical establishment to regain health. It is worth our time to study everything we can about the microbiome, gut health, sustainability, the state of our water source(s), what foods fuel alkalinity, why sugar is toxic, etc. I decide what is best for my body. I advocate for my health. It's no longer 'trust the doctor, he or she knows best'. And any concern for what others think about my choices flew out the window this past year.
8. Let go of the past. Hanging onto the past - reliving the past - allowing the past to define you - revisiting traumas - thinking the best of life is behind us - None of that is true or worth our time...at least not mine. In the Bible, God says do not ponder things of the past or even consider them (Isaiah 43:18). So I finally decided to actually do what God says. This is freeing up a lot of my thought life as well as my communication with others. And my heart feels free to fully give to Him b/c nothing is weighing it down.
9. Healthy boundaries equate to healthy relationships. Practice, practice, practice + wise counsel has been the best terrain for creating the healthiest boundaries in all areas of my life. If you don't have healthy boundaries or you don't even know how to set boundaries, it's worth seeking out counsel. A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect. I forget who said that but, I can attest that quote is true.
10. Not everyone that is with you will be there for you. This was a tough lesson but, so valuable to learn. Hard times reveal true friends. It's a cliche that I can attest to that is true. And I feel oddly and tenderly blessed to have learned this lesson.
I have learned so much more but, these top ten lessons are the ones that have me seeing life through a new lens, doing life forever differently and showing up in life completely transformed in Him.
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.