Thangs Twen Leven Taught Me aka My 21 Thoughts About 2011

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”  ~ Zora Neale Hurston

I love this quote.  I do believe this year asked some questions and answered others for me.  It’s been a trying year.  From what I have been able to tell, it’s been a trying year for many people.  Maybe it was the spirit of the year, to be tried and tested.  For me it’s one of those Psalm 119:71 style years, but I have gleaned some serious lessons from it and discovered a few amazing things about myself in the process.

  1. I need to learn to partner with God more.  He never leads me wrong.  This doesn’t mean my life will be perfect and without any trouble.  It does mean I don’t have to fear anything.  I admit, I generally appear very brave about things, but there are just some things that outright terrify and worry me.  I need to stop this because well, what’s for me is for me.  And He is in control.
  2. There is nothing more important than my own well being.  It’s always the first order of business next to a relationship with Him.  If I’m not in a good place, it’s up to me to either fix it or ask for help if I don’t know how.  I can’t help others unless I help myself.
  3. People matter.   Spend all the time you can with people you love.  Comfort them, be there for them, help them and love them.
  4. People are going to walk away.  It’s ok.  This blog really took off when someone I cared for walked away from me with little to no explanation.  By being freed up, it resulted in many other lessons I would not have had. I would have missed meeting some wonderful people this year and having amazing experiences.  I’m thankful for the time we had and almost more thankful I had to go through.  I count it all joy.
  5. Count it all joy.   Yup – when I mention it twice, it’s important.
  6. Sometimes I need to walk away.  For a while I regretted leaving a previous job, leaving some people behind, cutting off  certain relationships and not being present for other things or events.  I know now, it was alright to do this.
  7. Forgiveness.  I mean of myself here.  It’s so important and I work on it daily.  I’ve failed more times than this blog has room to express.  Those failures, bad decisions and transgressions led me here.  Led me to get to know You and you.  So, I don’t regret it.  But what I have found is I do beat myself up over it.  This – well, I started to sit back and work on that this year.  Forgiving yourself gives you the ability to forgive others around you.  It opens you up to the possibilities life really has in store for you.  Without forgiving yourself, you’ll try to sabotage all the good appearing in your life.
  8. Pairing down and moving into a smaller, cheaper apartment changed my life.   I moved into a neighborhood in NE DC.  Moving here gave me a different perspective of the city.  It opened me up to new ideas on where I can and cannot live.
  9. Facing my debt this year – living up to what’s owed.  I decided it was time to begin taking it seriously and not looking at it as if it would just disappear without me working on it.  Confronting it (and it’s a daily battle that I don’t always win) has helped me face other issues.
  10. This year, I learned to cope with disappointment better. How to forgive more.  How to reconcile and have the strongest relationships possible.   In other words, my Corinthians 1:13 I keep screaming about – yeah, it got put to the test without a doubt.  I am a better woman for it.
  11. My gut, my intuition, the still quiet voice – is always right.  This year, answered any doubt I’ve had about it.  As long as I listen to it, I have never been misguided.
  12. I am ok in the place I am in now.  No matter how many times I think I “should be” doing something else or be farther along in my path, I have to realize this is all a process.  It’s life.  It’s my life.  No need to compare with others.  Maybe there were lessons I needed to learn.  Wisdom to be gained.  People who needed to be in my life.  People who needed to leave from my life.
  13. Progress is how you measure it.  Insert old church cliché – “I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”
  14. Love really is all it’s cracked up to be.  I’ll say this – if you have it or if you don’t, most people recognize it’s value.  Be sure to give it.  Be ready to receive it.  So often, it’s right there in my face and I hold back or I can’t receive it.  This tug of war ended this year.  I gave into it.
  15. Showing your feelings – happiness, love, disappointment, anger, hurt, excitement – those are so important.  Learning to be transparent in your closest relationships and being able to fully be yourself – that’s what freedom is about.  People want to love a real you.  Not the person you think they want.  Be yourself.
  16. It’s ok for me to change my mind.  There are some things I started this year and realized it wasn’t the time.  Everything has a season.  If I had kept up on a road I was going down, I would have missed meeting someone who is very special to me and has become important in my life.
  17. This year, I learned how to be more open.  I learned how to accept help – and ask for help.  I realized after being on my own for so long, I was set in some of my ways.  Those ways weren’t exactly serving me, so I needed to work on being more open.  More open to allowing my loved ones to step in and help me.
  18. I learned this year I love to write more than I thought.  I also learned I can put myself out there without fear.   Writing & blogging takes chutzpah and moxy.
  19. Anything worth having and loving takes hard work.  Work  I may or may not want to do all the time.  Though without putting in the work, nothing beautiful will be created.  This year, I jumped in and got my hands dirty in the trenches.  Life isn’t always about things being perfect and clean.  (shoutout to my OCD crew who shudders at this thought)
  20. I promised myself not to involve myself in certain situations this year.  I mostly accomplished this.  And then I got some hard lessons on why this is even more important.
  21. Belief in God.  Then belief in self.  I always believe in God.  I just need to put this in there because although I have faith in Him, I don’t always believe in myself.  But why?  If He’s created a good thing in me, isn’t He bound to finish it?  I say yes.

So there are my lessons for 2011.  I could have taken this list to 50 if I really got started.   I have plans for 2012 and will post those in the coming days.  I’m not the kind of girl who makes resolutions anymore.  I’d rather not post any promises I cannot keep.  Blogging keep me honest.

Praying for a safe and amazing year for my loved ones, family, friends.

Wishing all of you a stellar 2012 with love!

Rae

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