In case you’re wondering about the title, yes, I’m still talking about lessons I learned in 2011. I know it’s almost the end of February, but I am still reaping the benefits of having learned such profound lessons and it’s really becoming enjoyable to master them. Last year I struggled a lot with these lessons, but for good reason. I have finally gotten to a place where “I get it” and that feels good. I see the effects of having learned these lessons playing out in my life and it makes me appreciate all I went through last year to learn them.
So without further ado, here is Part 2 of my Lessons Learned (in case you missed Part 1, click here to see the first half).
Lesson 4: Live a life of gratefulness.
I use the phrase “live a life of gratefulness” because it refers to a deeper concept than simply saying thank you for things or being grateful in the moment. When you truly begin to become grateful for everything, even the difficult situations… When you challenge yourself to stop complaining and learn how to appreciate your life for what it is… When you can just look around you and be grateful for the little things all the time, that is living a life of gratefulness. It takes a lot of dedication, awareness and discipline to stay grateful more often than not. I am definitely still in the process of mastering this lesson, but I am miles away from where I used to be. I truly know what it means to live in gratefulness instead of just tapping into it occasionally, and it just makes for a happier, more content existence. Lesson Learned: Sustained gratefulness is life’s elixir.
Lesson 5: You are enough
Sometimes we don’t do what we’re supposed to do. It’s ok. Sometimes we are not at our best. That’s ok too. No matter what, we are always deserving of love and blessings. That’s just the way of the universe. I think because I’ve been such a judgmental and critical person for most of my life (against myself and others), it’s really taken me a while to grasp this universal lesson. I recently realized that the judgement I’ve always lived with was actually passed down through several generations in my family. So I’m not such an awful person after all! This flawed mentality actually came from somewhere. When you are able to look back and see where things come from and why things are the way they are, it takes the pressure off and allows you to take the whip off of your own back. Learning to let myself be, let others be and know that we are all enough just as we are is definitely one of the biggest and best lessons I have ever come across. Lesson Learned: Acceptance is the best self-love and universal love you can give.
Lesson 6: The path to God is personal and customizable.
Piggybacking off of the previous lesson, one of the things I used to beat myself up for is swaying from my spiritual practice. If I did not meditate or journal or read spiritual texts as often as I thought I was supposed to, I would feel guilty that I’ve slacked off. Luckily, my relationship with God has grown so much that even when I didn’t do those physical things, I was in constant communication with God, praying inwardly that He would continue to speak to me, give me clarity, and show me my truth. Because of my willingness to stay open and always hear from God, no matter what I was doing, I consistently got the exact messages I needed. I would get them anywhere… Watching TV, having a great conversation, taking a shower, washing the dishes, literally anywhere. It made me feel good to know God was reaching me where ever I was. He customized my walk with him and spoke to me in all kinds of different activities, even in some of my favorite things, simply because of my willingness to stay open and in connection with him. That makes my heart smile just thinking about it. 🙂 Lesson Learned: Relationship with God is more important than rituals and tradition.
These are my absolute favorite lessons of 2011 that have already spilled over into my 2012 to spread continued blessings and growth along my path. I am so grateful to have grown and learned so much in the past year and look forward to even more. (Don’t forget to read Part 1 so you can see all of the lessons.)
Share your thoughts in the comments: Can you relate to any of these lessons? What is your experience with them? What are your favorite lessons from 2011 and even 2012 so far?
Peace, Love & Learning,