Written by blog contributor, Daniela Forte.
As I close out this year, so many thoughts come to mind. My first thought, is this year really over? I still feel like my birthday in January was just weeks ago.
But more seriously, this year came and went in a whirlwind, at least for me it did. So many changes came, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. I can’t really provide a summarizing comment about how I feel about this year as a whole, but I will tell you some lessons that I learned along that way that I will take with me into 2017.
Everything Can Change in an Instant: I saw some major changes in my life this year, some took me by surprise and some didn’t. Some made me incredibly happy and some made me incredibly sad. The lesson here is that nothing and I mean nothing stays the same no matter how much you want them to. The reason? Well it can’t. Our lives are meant to move forward however and with whomever it is meant to.
Calm Down, It’s Okay, You’re Safe: These were the words my friend often repeated to me throughout the year. Whenever I felt like the world was closing in on me, she would remind me that I was safe and it was going to be okay. In the year to come, remember whenever you feel frightened, sad or angry you are always safe. Nothing around you can really harm you if you don’t allow it.
Life Is Short: This year, there were some significant losses, I found myself constantly using the hashtag “life is short” because it is. Whether I lost people to death or I heard of other people who did, it just put this phrase front and center in my life. In the year to come it is important to remember that nothing is guaranteed, we are here today and gone tomorrow. So value those who are here with you and never take anyone or anything for granted.
If The Tools You Have Aren’t Working, Find New Tools: I am obviously not talking about real tools, I am talking about the tools you use to handle your life. This year brought forth for me the realization that I wasn’t handling life entirely well. I was actually not handling life at all. I suffered tremendously from depression and severe anxiety unlike I had ever felt before. While the work on myself is still in progress, and much better now at years end, in the year ahead I hope to find even more new tools to work with to make my life much better than it is today.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: An age-old saying that will always ring true when it comes to the dealings with people in life. I keep learning this everyday. Whether it is in my professional or personal life. What people say and what they do are entirely two different things. I learned that this year, and that lesson was a terrible pill to swallow especially when you have expectations that people in your life simply cannot and will not ever meet. So love the people who love you and forget the rest. And don’t allow yourself to get angry for treating those that didn’t love you with great respect and caring, because people can only meet you as far they have met themselves and you were your authentic caring self.
The Quickest Decisions Are Usually the Best Ones: Deciding to travel overseas this month to Norway and Sweden was the biggest and rather quickest decision I had made in a long time. I am sure this will be one of the best decisions I made for myself this year. This is because it was for myself. So in the year to come, don’t overthink your decisions, just do it. You never know where those decisions will take you and whom you will meet.
Be Healthy: Eat well, sleep well, treat yourself with upmost respect. I didn’t do much of this either this year. Sleep escaped me most nights, eating well went out the windows most days. As the year went on however, I realized I needed to take better care of myself, because there was only one me and I wasn’t about to allow whatever was causing this unhealthy behavior put an end to me.
Timing is Everything: I saw this a lot this year, how sometimes you need to have patience and trust the timing of your life when it comes to things you want and need. One example of this was my aunt. She had wanted a child for years and was told it was simply not possible, until this year. She is now 30 weeks pregnant and due in February. So believe in the miracles and your dreams and don’t allow others to deter you from them.
When Everything Is Wrong, Pray: There were days this year I prayed nonstop. I would pray for myself, prayed for others, prayed to get through the day, the week, the month. You don’t need to be religious to pray, you just need to believe enough to ask. You will be surprised how quickly your prayers are answered.
You Can’t Make Sense of Everything: My mother told me that a lot this year. She often told me to stop analyzing and start accepting. There are things in life that happen to you or around you that make absolutely no sense. Trying to figure out why when you can’t, will drive you absolutely mad. Let it be what it is and go forward.
You Are Enough: Asking yourself why aren’t you enough is probably the most terrible thing to ask. I asked myself this question a lot this year, simply because I couldn’t and wouldn’t see the other side of things in my life. I automatically thought what was happening around me was because of some shortcoming of mine and not others. In the year ahead, always remember you are absolutely enough for the people and situations you encounter in your life, don’t ever allow anything to make you feel any less.