Tomorrow I turn 30…(eeek!) This impending date has made me feel rather contemplative and so I felt compelled to compile a list of things that I have learned up until now that have benefited me and may help you too.
- Soulmates don’t stay forever
As cliché as it sounds, I’ve learned that just because you feel intrinsically connected to someone, that doesn’t mean that they’re your forever person. Sometimes people come into our lives, teach us a hell of a lot, and then leave. That was their role, thank them for the lessons and let them go.
2. God’s delays are not Gods denials.
Truer words have never been spoken! Something I have always struggled with is trusting in God’s timing. I often have to remind myself that just because I haven’t received the blessings that others have in their lives at specific points, it does not mean that I am cast aside. It means that I have so much more to focus on right now. Now I find solace in knowing that everything is planned out with God’s infinite wisdom.
3. My energy creates my reality. What I focus on grows.
This is something I have only recently learned and understood. I think for most of my 20’s, I fit into the ‘Glass half Empty’ category. However, I have come to learn that the good has always been there alongside the bad and you can choose to see which ever one you want.
If you choose to see through the filter of negativity, you better believe you’ll only find more. But, if you train yourself to constantly pick out the good, then even more good will bloom before your eyes and you’ll see that this life of yours is sooo full of abundance.
4. Letting go doesn’t mean it didn’t matter…
If you’re like me, and struggle to let go of significant times and memories, it’s important to know that saying goodbye to a time doesn’t mean that it wasn’t important to you.
Letting go only gives you more space to allow new blessings and opportunities into your life. You cannot open the next chapter if you keep rereading the last one.
5.Your loved ones cannot heal you
I have always been so close to my family, and since we are all empaths, it’s not uncommon for us to sit around for hours discussing how we feel. But it took me a while to understand that, although my family love me and care for me endlessly, they cannot fix me. They have numerous roles in my life, but they cannot be my crutches. In fact, it is my duty to fix myself, to be more present and available to them. A half empty cup has nothing to pour
6. Therapy is worth it
This follows on from my previous point. Despite having a huge support network, and exercising self-help, sometimes you just need a little more guidance. I believe in the counselling/ therapy process to push you forward when you feel your self-slipping. Not as a long-term solution, but at least to kick start your healing journey.
I have tried Talking Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with qualified therapist, to help me break down some difficult things and some long-standing negative beliefs. They were able to provide me with the support I needed when I felt myself drowning in my sadness. If you need a little extra help, there’s no stigma in asking for it from professionals who can help you.
7. You are not your thoughts
In the words of Eckhart Tolle, you are not your thoughts! This is something that took a long time for me to grasp. I had such a negative inner voice that constantly berated me for not being pretty enough, skinny enough or successful enough.
Since dissociating from that narrative and identifying that voice as a foreign entity, I’m able to actively choose not to listen to that voice and to just pick a thought that feels better.
8.There’s no such thing as the right person at the wrong time
This is simple. If it’s the wrong time, it’s the wrong person. With the right person, things will come naturally, there are no obvious hurdles and things just unfold with ease.
9. Less is more
Recently, I have learned to value space more than possessions. I had a nasty habit of buying more than I could store. This led to an extreme hoarding type situation in my bedroom, with piles of shoes handbags and jewellery… A mess!
But, after a thorough clean out, I’ve realised that sometimes there is more joy in the clutter free space then in the possessions themselves. So now, I’m sure to really evaluate whether this new item will bring me joy before I buy.
10. A place for everything and everything in its place.
I recently decluttered and organised my living space and it has changed my life! I have finally created for myself, an ergonomic system for all my things. This same level of organisation is permeating into other factors of my life… It honestly feels great! Do yourself a favour and buy those drawer organisers!
11. Hold on to your friends even when it feels hard, you’ll thank yourself later.
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t make the effort with my friends that I should have over the years. Withdrawing into myself during a difficult time, I cut off so many great relationships and friendships that could have been with me now. Even if you feel out of place, if you feel left behind, know that this feeling is fleeting and afterwards you’ll need these amazing people in your life. They have a special place in your heart and you in theirs.
12. No time lasts forever – appreciate it while it is here
You may be unhappy with how things are right now, but nothing lasts forever. Appreciate the time you are living with your parents and siblings under one roof, it doesn’t last. Appreciate the laborious weekend job you have, you will miss the simplicity one day. Be aware that the moment you are in right now, will never come back so appreciate it all while it’s here.
13. Someone’s criticism of you is just a reflection of their own heart
Have you ever heard the saying ‘People don’t rob from empty houses.’ If someone constantly criticizes you, there is something in you that makes them uncomfortable, something they wish they had themselves. Thank them for their input and know that everyone is fighting their own battles, and this has more to do with how they feel about themselves, and less to do with what they feel about you.
14. A life without gratitude is an empty life indeed
As someone who very rarely saw the good in life, I was constantly down and always plagued by what I didn’t have. That was until I started gratitude journaling. This activity has been the catalyst that has changed me from a pessimist to an optimist. I have become someone who takes pleasure in the journey and not just the destination. I fully believe that not every day is all good, but there is certainly good in every day.
15. Don’t be afraid to have your heart broken…the pain is worth the memories
Heartbreak sucks, but oh my, are there some amazing memories before the pain. Focus on the joy and know that you cannot admire the starts without a little darkness. Don’t let the pain of heartbreak stop you from wanting to be loved again.
16. Rock bottom truly is the foundation on which you can rebuild your life
Not everyone has to hit rock bottom to know they need to change, but I did, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Hitting that low place was the springboard that I needed to start rebuilding myself and my life. sometimes you have to hit your lowest to push yourself to improve your state and your life. I had so many toxic thoughts and opinions about myself and about others, hitting that low allowed me to address and change what needed to go.
- Your energy is currency. Spend it well, Invest it wisely.
Anyone who endeavours to maintain a high vibe knows how hard it is to be around people who suck that energy. Your energy is your life force, don’t be around people who hurt that. Not everyone deserves a seat at your table. Be patient and your loved ones will eventually see how high your flying and want a piece of the action.
18. No one teaches you how to love yourself, you just have to choose to do it
There are no lessons in self-love, no one tells us how we must invest in ourselves first and foremost to have something to give. Find out what recharges your batteries and implement these things into your life daily. For me, my gratitude journal, my affirmation practice, a cosy mug of coffee and a relaxing bath with a book at the end of the day ensure that I am at my peak state for those around me.
19. No-one can complete you – you are already a complete person
Isn’t it bizarre, all the most famous romance movies tell us that we are incomplete, that Mr right will come along and give our lives meaning. It could not be more false.
If you feel incomplete, you will enter into that relationship thinking this person owes you something, and they don’t. You are your own person. YOUR happiness is YOUR responsibility, and THEIR happiness is THEIRS.
Don’t wait for someone to complete you, be the whole complete version of yourself and see how many people want to add you into their lives.
- Health truly is wealth
Early on in my 20’s, I was hospitalised for over a week. To date, it was the worst experience of my life. The lack of control you experience in hospital can be easily likened to prison, at least that how I felt. I couldn’t leave, I had to take whatever medication was given to me and worst of all, my family could not stay with me…I was truly alone. This experience taught me that health is the most valuable gift we are given. With health comes freedom and it is a blessing. We owe our bodies a great debt and should look after them appropriately.
- Don’t be afraid to chase your dream for free
When you have a dream, be willing to put the work in without getting the gratification. So many of my best experiences occurred when volunteering for local papers as a journalist. Free events, press passes and even some goodies. I wouldn’t change it for the world! Build your experience and then find that killer payed role doing what you love!
22. You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
I think so many of us struggle with people pleasing. Everyone in a room can be taken by you, but the one person who seems indifferent is the one that will stick in your mind. Something I’ve had to teach myself is, not everyone is going to like your unique brand of weird, and that’s perfectly fine. Never change yourself to fit others perceptions of how you should be. Just be yourself and endeavour to feel good. Opinions are so subjective anyway!
- Comparison really is the thief of joy
This one still trips me up occasionally and it is one of the lowest vibes you can give off. Sometimes it’s hard to see people effortlessly receive the things that you have always wanted. Doesn’t it always seem like everyone else’s life is sooo easy and we are the only ones struggling.
With the introduction of social media and overexposure to other people’s circumstances, it’s even harder to try and stay in your lane. Something I tell myself often is ‘Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s best-bits-reel.’ We don’t know what people are struggling with privately. And I guarantee that someone out there is looking at your life and wanting the blessings you have.
- You must hold firmly to the rope of Allah (swt)
This is a lesson I have learned fairly late in my life…we have so little control over things, its so much easier to accept when we leave everything in God’s hands. The only real path in life is the one that God has outlined for us. I readily accept this.
- Discipline will get you where motivation cannot.
So many exciting endeavours have begun in a flurry of motivation and excitement, but keeping that momentum going is the hard part. I have tried to apply discipline to so many aspects of my life so I won’t lose the motivation. I have a theory, the harder it is to do, the more you need it. I apply this to my prayers, my exercise routine, my blog and even my self-love journey. The more resistance there is, the more reason I have to do what needs to be done.
- There is no set timeline to life
The South Asian community is full of Aunties telling you what you should be doing and when. Marriage, Child, 2nd children, Working, cooking and cleaning. Life has no set timeline, and you are not bound by what society deems appropriate timing. Spend your 20’s discovering you and don’t worry about what others will say.
- The morning hours are blessed
This is something I have only recently learned, and it is true. Waking up for the morning prayer has been incremental in my healing journey. Create a good morning routine for yourself and follow it daily. I’ve been doing my newly implemented routine for about 6 months now and it honestly feels great. I’m down for 11pm and up fresh and early at 6am in time for my productive morning routine. I have to say, I’ve never felt so alive and alert!
- The night is always darkest before the dawn
Sometimes is can seem so easy to give up and throw in the towel. But I’m here to tell you that right when it feels like it will never get better, somehow it just does. Know that when it truly hurts, it can only get better, and it will.
29. You have to start thinking of yourself as the main character in your life.
I have spent so much of my life so far telling myself that I am inferior to others, not pretty enough, not special enough, just not enough to be a significant person in anyone’s life, let alone my own. I’m done with that. From now on I vow to be the protagonist in my own adventure, because that exactly what my life is.
30. You are worthy of everything you desire
This is the lesson that has taken me the longest to learn. I now know…nothing is out of my reach. If I can believe it, I will see it.