2011 was the year of humbling truths and amazingly answered prayers.
i’d like to think that 2011 was a year where God worked tremendously on who I was on the inside. i have come to realize that what was happening on the inside is not nearly as important as what’s happening on the outside.
i have come to learn that we can face whatever comes our way if we have a strong, solid foundation of who we are and whose we belong to on the inside.
it was quite perfect for me to find this wonderful article a few days ago: http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/11/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/ and therefore inspiring me to start working on my annual lists of nuggets every year. it was also quite fascinating to know that most of the things on the list are the most powerful lessons i learned this year.
1) It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
– Possibly the biggest lesson I have learned is this one right here. I have always battled with the pitfalls of wanting to be perfect all the time. Always wanting to look perfect, having the perfect grades, soon enough have the perfect boyfriend and always be the perfect daughter. Truth is, perfection is boring and absolutely insane. I have come to learn that the most beautiful people I know are rough around the edges, have a few cracks– which allows their inner light to shine through and are not ashamed of the story that their lives tell. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to spend a day in your room, but most importantly, it’s okay to pick yourself up, no matter how slowly and walk freely again.
2) Quality over Quantity in Friendships
– I was raised in the era of popular girls (Popular, Can’t Hardly Wait, Clueless, Mean Girls etc) therefore it has been embedded in my mind that the more friends you have the better of a person you are. In truth, it’s okay to have a few friends but they are the ones who nurture your soul and push you to be the best person that you can be. They may break your heart every once in awhile but know that they will always have your back when you break yours.
3) The One That Got Away Isn’t The One For You
– There was a fascination with Katy Perry’s song with the same title for a few months at the beginning of the year. But I have come to realize that if someone was truly meant to be a part of my life, he wouldn’t have gotten away. So i’ll begin the year by taking this out of my playlist, no matter how catchy the tune is, and focus on the ones who are yet to come. The ones who are truly meant to be in our lives.
4) Be The One Who Got Away, Not The One Who Overstayed
– I’ve tweeted this several times over the year in order to remind myself that when something isn’t working it is best to simply pack your bags and walk away. Or better yet, throw away the baggage and run free. Stop trying to make something that obviously isn’t working, work. It would leave scars that was meant to be there in the first place.
5) Real Friends Don’t…
– Laugh at your weaknesses. Talk behind your back. Compete With You. Friendships should be treated the same way as relationships, if someone is not treating you with respect and chooses to bring you down to feel good about themselves or suck your positive energy replacing it with theirs, then by all means… WALK AWAY.
6) Love Yourself Enough To Walk Away
– Jennifer Lopez quoted this when asked about her divorce with Marc Anthony and it makes a lot of sense. A real man will not cheat on you or abuse you in any way. We can never rest in our laurels, thinking that allow a man to destroy us will help him become a better person. Also ladies, it’s time to drop this fascination with the bad boys thinking you can’t fix them. Here’s news for you: they don’t want to be fixed.
7) Immerse Yourself in the Little Things and Be Happy
– Our God is a Big God and therefore miracles become a day to day thing for us. However, there are times when we caught up in the big things that we forget that God is also very much alive in the small things, that every smile from a stranger, every little “I can’t believe that happened to me” like finding a parking space in a crowded area, or a friend ringing out of the blue when you’re feeling bad is God’s little reminder of His love for you. So celebrate them!
8) Let Go and Let God
– I was extremely worried in the last few months of the year but I have come to realize that being worried meant I didn’t trust in the power that God has over every single aspect of my life. In order to trust a God so big I must know who my God is. My God is Great, yes but most importantly, My God is Good and He loves me and wouldn’t allow anything to harm me or those that i love and pray for. So instead of worrying, I get on my knees and pray.
– I was offended by a friend about a month ago when he told me to “just chillax”. I disliked it simply because it didn’t go with my neurotic nature, but in truth it made a lot of sense. There is absolutely no need to be neurotic all the time. I must learn to take a deep breath and understand that things are working the way that they should.
10) Eat that Darn Chocolate.
– I spent countless meals skipping on dessert simply because I needed to be an impossible kind of skinny. Truth is, I exert a lot of effort into working out and I deserve a slice of cake and a glorious bite of dark chocolate. It’s not a sin to enjoy life and that includes eating food that just make you light up on the inside. Workout so you can eat all the things that you want!
11) Friends Is Possibly THE BEST SHOW on the planet
– In December 2011, I met the love of my life, Ross Gellar and well, Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe. I have never been a fan but now, I have fallen hook, line and sinker.
12) Don’t Settle Your Long-Term Dreams For Short Term Happiness
– Just a few days ago, I was extremely tempted to settle for something less than what I deserve simply because i’ve been feeling a little lonely. But thank God for well meaning friends who put a stop for it before making probably the biggest mistake of my life. I have come to realize that patience goes a long way and that whatever God has planned for me, it is definitely worth the wait.
13) If A Man Wants You, He Will Call
– If a man wants to be with me, he will exhaust all options to be with me. No waiting around for him to reply to my BBM or text messages or mentions on twitter, he will simply be there all the time and if he isn’t well it could only mean one thing: he’s calling someone else.
14) Funny Is The New Sexy
– Nothing is sexier than a man who is funny and intelligent. And I heard laughing burns a whole lot of calories.
15) Befriend Someone Totally The Opposite of Who You Are
– This year, I have been blessed with friends who I wouldn’t even think of befriending at the beginning of the year. They have pushed me to have a more disciplined relationship with God and have helped me weather a few tough storms. So today, take a moment to look at someone who you think you have nothing in common with and be surprised.
16) Be Grateful.
– The reason why we constantly feel depleted is because we forget to be grateful. There are so many beautiful things to be thankful for that we should focus on. Whatever the day brings your way, believe that God is working on your behalf and you are filled with His favor, therefore you are always at the right place at exactly the right time. It is important to always be thankful because that way we attract more positive energy that brings greater blessings our way.
17) Speak Up.
– Out of fear, we often learn the art of just saying yes. My dad taught me this valuable lesson that if I cannot get things done, it is best to say no and say that I’ll try. I have been a people pleaser in the past but I’m breaking free, slowly but surely. It’s okay to say how you feel and not be burdened by it, but say it nicely and still be careful with your words as to not to offend anyone.
18) What People Say About You Is A Reflection of Who They Are.
– This is probably another of the greatest lessons of 2011. Instead of fighting back when something is said about me that is entirely false, it is best to walk away knowing that hurt people hurt other people, therefore if someone says anything negative about you, it is always a reflection of who they are or where they hurt. Don’t fight back. Choose your battles.
19) Be Kind. Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Battle.
– Often when people attack other people it is probably because their tank is already filled with so many negative things that they can’t help but blow up. The rational act is to fight back but in truth it would only make the other person hurt even more, so the best thing to do is simply to let it go and fight back with kindness. Be the bigger person and you may help another be better as well. Hold your tongue and know that your kindness goes a long way.
20) Nice Girls Always Win.
– In the early 2000s, it was the era of Cady Heron and The Mean Girls thus creating a flock of girls who would constantly gripe about other girls to constantly feel good about themselves. But that era is over, I am amazed at how many nice girls are making the spotlight these days: those whose beauty radiates from the inside and their kindness is infectious in so many ways that it is quite believable that there are better days ahead for girls everywhere. I am also a constant believer that no matter what happens, nice girls always always win.
and most importantly,
21) Our God is a Progressive God.
– Entering into a New Year is always exciting and a bit scary for everyone, but you should know that God has good plans for you and that He is a Progressive God, if you just had your best year ever, believe that God has even greater things instore for you and your family in the coming year. Hold your ground believing and declaring and receiving all that God has for you this year.
Own God’s promises for you and you will own this year.
Stand strong in Jesus, hold on tight, the best is yet to come.