I was recently reflecting on this past season of my life, and all of the things I’ve learned, particularly over the course of the past five years. My mind tends to compartmentalize my life into little chapters, and as one of my self-care practices, I like to go back and honor a chapter by remembering the highs and the lows of what has passed.
I truly believe that each period of our lives has a purpose and is meant to teach us something that takes us into the next phase. Even in the most painful of moments of the past, I know that I am stronger and wiser because of it, and I know that I am more capable of handling life’s hardships with my experiences.
It brings me so much joy and fulfillment to share with you everything I have learned. I deeply appreciate the relationships that we have built here on this platform, and just like I would share with close friends and family, I feel so comfortable opening up and letting you all into my life in this way.
In my reflection, I pinpointed five of the most poignant lessons I’ve learned in this past chapter, and I added two bonus lessons for good measure :). I share this with the intention that it may be helpful for you, or if you’re going through any of these things, you may feel less alone.
Deep down, I believe that we all experience these hardships and life lessons, just in our own time, and it’s this belief that helps me feel less like an outlier. I hope you feel this, too!
- Mistakes don’t have to break you, they can fortify you. I used to be so hard on myself when I made mistakes, and I’ve made a lot of them. Perhaps this stems from some internal need to be “perfect”. What set me free from this was truly knowing that we all make mistakes, there is always a lesson to be learned from a mistake, and you can take this lesson with you forever, if you let it. Mistakes don’t have to haunt you if you allow the lesson to be learned, and infuse it into your next chapter. Forgive yourself.
- Knowing how to communicate your needs will get you far. I used to feel so frustrated and misunderstood in my relationships, until I realized that I had to meet the people in my life halfway with good, honest communication. It can feel hard to communicate your needs or speak your truth, but just like with everything else worthwhile, it’s a practice, and it does get easier the more you do it! So much heartache and anxiety is spared for me when I communicate in an aligned, compassionate, truthful way. My relationships with others and with myself are so much better for it.
- So much of life’s beauty lies in simplicity. I used to think I needed to do all the things, have all the things, and be all the things. It was…a lot, and overwhelming. Over this past year, when so much was stripped away, I was finally able to see how beautiful life can be when simplified. I don’t need so much to be happy and fulfilled, I just need the right things at the right time, and trust that those things will be provided to me. Simplicity has allowed me to come back to myself and my deepest, truest desires, rather than being caught up in the external life of excess. I feel lighter, freer, and more like me this way.
- Not all relationships are meant to last forever. Some are only for a season, and that’s okay. I used to think there was something wrong with me every time a relationship in my life would go south. I would think it meant that I was unloveable or unworthy or that it meant I would be lonely forever. The truth is, relationships come to us for a reason and a season. I believe some people are meant to come into our lives for a short period of time to provide us with a lesson. I honor the deep, long-lasting relationships in my life, and remember that not every relationship has to be this way. Your worthiness is not attached to the longevity of your relationships.
- It’s okay to say no. You’re allowed to protect your peace and set boundaries. As as recovering people pleaser, this was a tough lesson to learn, but such a valuable one. Saying yes to everything and everyone can only lead to burnout, overwhelm, and ultimately, disconnection from yourself. You’re allowed to say no to the things that you don’t want to do, and it’s important to set aligned boundaries. Protecting your peace is the ultimate act of self-care.
And as promised, here are my bonus mini lessons! I couldn’t just stop at five!
- Comparing yourself to others will, always steal your joy. Honor your uniqueness and your own life path. you are here for a reason.
- Don’t take life so seriously, do things that make you laugh, be silly, have fun. You gain so much in these joyful moments.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org