I covered 18 Lessons in 2012. I'll cover them in three parts, and I may even add a couple new ones. Here are 1 – 6.
Life Lesson #1: Listen. When all you wish to do is speak, listen first. Quiet the noise that surrounds you and just listen. Listen deliberately. Listen fully. Listen hard. Above all, listen to your heart. The part of you that feels, that hopes, that yearns… and that is not just a part of you but is what defines you. It’s what gives you meaning. It’s why we live.
Life Lesson #2: Love Love is what we must seek, what requires vigilant protection, nurturing, reverence, and humility. It doesn’t come without loss and ultimate vulnerability; rarely does it exist without a fight but it nourishes the soul and the very soul of the world. Love is everything.
Life Lesson #3: Learn There is no threshold for knowledge, no peak of wisdom one can hope to achieve. There is always more to know, more to find. Sometimes it’s in a book, sometimes its thousands of miles from home or in a classroom, and sometimes it’s at a kitchen table. There is so much out there to learn and to explore. Ask questions, try new things, and above all, never be satisfied with what you know. Make the love of learning like the need for air. Life-sustaining.
Life Lesson #4: Remember “At some point, your memories, your stories, your adventures, will be the only things you'll have left.”― Chuck Palahniuk
Remember as much as you can – even the little things, because one day soon those little things will have been the biggest.
Life Lesson #5: The Value of a Dollar Since becoming a single parent, the dollars have had to stretch in my household. The girls pitch in without compensation, because it's how we run our house, but I am teaching them the importance of managing their money. And there is value in money, and even more in how we choose to spend and invest it in our lives... and a dollar can go a long way.
Life Lesson #6: Belief This one is my favorite personally. It was also one of my biggest posts of the years in viewership. It was read and shared thousands of times, which blew my mind. But on reflection, belief is one of the hardest things to ask of ourselves, I think it just resonated. I wrote it for one of my best friends who had her heart broken... and as the words tumbled out, so did the fervency for her to hear the message and for that message to be one that my daughters would need one day, when they would come to me, heart-broken tears in their eyes.
Our world and the people in it, often go against all the things that deserve the belief. More than knowledge, it's an awareness of our worth we have to accept. The words in this post came out very quickly and when I finished, I didn't edit a word, I just published.
So the message is this, and it's universal: You will get your heart broken. You will be disappointed and lost sometimes. People will leave when all you want is for them to stay. People will look through you when all you ask is for them to open their eyes. However undeserved, in these moments you’ll forget yourself. However temporary, you’ll lose your way. When you do, remember the things you already know in your heart but you can’t seem to hear over the doubts in your mind. Remember what I know of you.
You are loved. You are loved by people who KNOW that loving you is a privilege, not a burden. It’s something you hear, it’s something you know, but it has to go deeper…it’s something you have to believe. Because our ears tell us lies, and our wisdom is acquired and can be flawed. Belief comes from someplace else, a place that is ours alone, a place that will give us the hope we think we’ve lost. Because the good never left, we were never lacking, the bad was all part of the journey for a reason, and in that place where belief lives you know it to be true.
You will face so much and you know how to be human... stand on your feet and overcome barriers. Overcome your own dark by finding your light. The people in your life now and in the future will be better for knowing you and for all that you are. You should know all of humanity is grateful.