I have stated in many of my previous articles that 2021 was a teaching year for me. As I am sure, it was a lot of things for you as well. It is the year I learned the most about my life, the people around me, and life in general. Shocking and enlightening. It was a year of letdowns and realizations. It was painful yet comforting, but most of all, it has awakened something within me that has led me on a journey of discovering.
Today as I reflect on 2021, I am sharing 21 things I have learned in 2021 and a few Bonuses:
1. Life is more than what meets the eyes.
We often look at life in either black or white, but it is a rigid way to see life. We must comprehend there are other colors to life, and it is not always what it seems.
2. It is in your most difficult of seasons that the most authentic nature of others is shown.
You can choose in one second to change or pivot your journey through life.We all get to a place where we feel lost or stuck. And that is ok; we have the power to choose to change our course or pivot. Never be afraid to go in another direction. If you don’t like who you are right now or where you are. Change courses or pivot only you can do that for you.
3. You are 1000% responsible for your life.
It is much easier to blame others when we fall short as human beings or have not shown up fully in our lives. Instead of taking full responsibility for our lives, it is easier to blame others, although we know the truth within ourselves. We find it easy to point fingers at others instead of looking in the mirror and accepting that it starts and ends with us. No one is responsible for pulling another human being along life’s path or forcing another to grow or change. It is impossible for another human being to make you grow or change. Only you can grow for yourself and the world around you.
4. You can choose in one second to change or pivot your journey through life.
We all get to a place where we feel lost or stuck. And that is ok; we have the power to choose to change our course or pivot. Never be afraid to go in another direction. If you don’t like who you are right now or where you are. Change courses or pivot only you can do that for you.
5. The words, actions, and behaviors of others have nothing to do with you and everything to do with that person or those people.
6. You are responsible for your feelings.
This is probably one of the hardest pills to swallow for most. No one can make us feel poorly about ourselves, and no one has control over our emotions. We control our emotions. Stop blaming others for how you feel and accept that you are responsible for your feelings. Become empowered—don’t give your power away by allowing others to control your emotions.
7. It does not matter what you have done for others; it will never be appreciated. But that is OK. It was never your intention to receive a thank you.
8. Acceptance of others is a huge part of living a peaceful life.
Most of us live our lives with expectations of what we think others should do and how they should act towards us. The truth is it causes us great stress and disappointment when people are not the way we want them to be. You can not force a person to be your way or to change. We are all on different paths and look at life differently. Let go of expectations and practice acceptance — your life will become much more peaceful.
9. The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with myself.
I can not say this enough, and when I forget, I am often reminded with a difficult lesson. The relationship we have with ourselves sets the tone for all other relationships in our lives. You only have you; you know you have your back, you can ultimately depend on yourself. And therefore, it is so important to nurture and maintain a relationship with you. Take responsibility for yourself and your relationship with yourself.
10. Emotions are meant to be felt and processed.
I used to be the queen of pushing my uncomfortable emotions away or distracting myself from them. Last year I realized that when an uncomfortable feeling isn’t felt and processed, it feels even worse later when it comes to the surface or when they all surface at once. Feel your emotions, process them, allow them to move through your body — you’ll see how magical it becomes in managing them.
11. Do “Forgive and forget” do not “forgive but don’t forget.”
I grew up hearing forgive but never forget. When we choose to forgive, we should also forget and let go of that hurt and disappointment. If we keep rehashing those hurts and disappointments in our minds, it prevents us from experiencing growth as individuals.
Staying hurt and disappointed is a sad way to exist — because every time that hurt or disappointment surfaces, we relive them, and they are just as painful or even more painful and disappointing. It is a sad existence to dwell on the hurt and disappointments others have
12. It does not matter what you have done for others; it will never be appreciated. But that is OK. It was never your intention to receive a thank you.
13. Remain true to you nature, do not change who you are based on the harsh words, actions and behaviors.
People often trigger us in relationships with or people we encounter daily. We sometimes adapt our attitudes and react to their words, actions and behaviors. Do not let anyone take you away from who you are – remain true to your nature.
14. Preparation is the greatest prayer.
If you want something in your life or you are praying for something in your life, then prepare for it.
15. Others may never understand you. And that is ok; it is not their responsibility to — it is your responsibility to understand and know who you are.
We place such high values on what others say or think of us. We are flexible enough to become whomever to be understood, loved, and accepted. Live your life for yourself. Understand who you are and who you are not. If you want to become more, it is within your power to do so.
16. Preparation is the greatest prayer.
If you want something in your life or you are praying for something in your life, then prepare for it.
17. The glittering gold of a life someone presents to the world is often not all glitz and glamor.
People show you want they would like you to see not how things really are. The fact is you will never know the truth about someone’s life. Therefore don’t compare yourself to others. And most of all if someone gives you unsolicited advice about your life do not be afraid to thank them and let them know it is not necessary.
18. Life is fragile and short.
We will all die one day (Let that sink in). You never know how long you have to live and so much of what we think matters really does not. It does not matter what others think or say about us — don’t let those things cause you to stop living. This is the only life where you’ll be you in your body with your mind and life. Do what you want. Life is simple, we make it difficult. Make the most of your life.
19. There are no rules to life, only what we have been taught.
We have been conditioned to think a certain way and grew up believing that life should be lived a certain way. You can do whatever you want in life. When you understand how significant life is and how insignificant all of the other things are you begin to see through all the BS.
20. Say “NO” it is freeing.
The most magical word I learned in 2021 is “No” – I am not a people pleaser but I am kind hearted and genuinely want to help others, often at the expense of my own needs. I have realized that although I would like to help or want to be kind to others it is ok to say take care of me first if that is what I need. Saying does not make me a mean person – I can be kind and still say no. It is ok to say no if you do not want to do something or no you will not be attending. It has been the most freeing experience.
21. Not everyone deserves to hear your story and not everyone should have access to your energy.
Do not feel obligated to tell your story to family or friends. I have realized that when I share things about my life it sometimes becomes conversations for those you have shared with to share with others who you do not know or would not discuss your life with. It becomes a source for judgment or envy and for some reason others find comfort when someone is having a tough time. Get a journal and write your troubles, your success or your concerns. No one needs to know what you’re doing or dealing with – it is your business to keep it to yourself. Let others assume what they want – they will anyway.
There are no shortcuts to healing
After the death of my dear dad last year, it is the first in my life I have fully committed to healing (I have dabbled before). And I was not ready for everything that happened after I made that commitment. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process and just when you feel like you have got a grip of one thing something else pops up. It is like removing the layers of something. But when you start to remove those layers other layers will remove themselves. It can not be rushed but it is magical, beautiful and freeing.
You can release yourself from the versions of you You have created just to survive.
In our most difficult seasons in life we lean towards surviving and to survive we have to become. Once we have survived those seasons it is ok to let go of that version of yourself you created to survive. Embrace the new flourishing you with an open heart and mind.
Red flags are always there. We often ignore them because we want to see the best in others.
Sometimes we want to see the best in our spouses, family, and friends and we ignore the red flags of who they really are and what they tell us by their actions. See people for who they are and accept them or let them go. Believe what people say by their actions — you can choose to accept it or not but do not ignore the red flags.
Sleep is one of the best medicines
I still have not figured it out but whenever I get enough sleep I am unstoppable. I am working on it.
Love: Tell those you love “you love them now” — Appreciate: “show appreciation to those you appreciate right here right now.”
Beware of people who talk too much; they are poor listeners.
Ghosting and gaslighting are real behaviors people engage in.
Spend more time doing things you will never regret.
And those are the lessons I have learned in 2021. It was a difficult year but it was also the most freeing year of my life. I have discovered so much about myself and life and I am excited to see what I discover in 2022.
Comment below: what did you learn in 2021 that will stay with you in 2022.