A good life lesson

I’m always looking for a good life lesson….a story about someone who has overcome adversity, or a lesson shared between a parent and a child to teach the child how to live strong and compassionate and well. There are so many life lessons out there to grab onto. If you are looking for them you will find them.

Society is changing so much and so quickly. I feel that the way people are intermingling, socializing, sharing and caring is losing it’s “treat others as you would like to be treated” attitude and it seems to be turning into a “dog eat dog” world. There is so much division between political parties, families and society in general. It’s actually scary. We often talk about what the world will be like in 20 years from now.

You’ve surely heard the sentence “if I knew then what I know now…..”. I’ve said it and I’ve heard others say it. Many life lessons are not learned until later in life from “living life”.

Here is a list of a few of the many life lessons that are important to each of us and society as a whole.

  • Live for today. We tend to live our lives waiting for that big thing down the road like “that new house”, “retirement”, and so on. But, in fact, YOUR LIFE IS RIGHT NOW!
  • At the end of the day, the most important thing in all of our lives is the relationships we have with our loved ones and friends.
  • Living in fear…which I always did…..is a waste of valuable time and energy. I use to fear so many things like “flying in an airplane and fearing it would crash”. Most of the things we fear never happen. I’m over all of that nonsense but it took a long time to realize it was an illusion…and not a good one.
  • If you can help it…don’t live your life in debt. Debt is such a drain on you physically and emotionally and for what? If you can’t afford something then don’t buy it. You will not gain any long term benefits from living beyond your means.
  • Material possessions mean nothing in the grand scheme. We gather so much stuff in our lives. My honey and I decluttered our lives when we sold our big house and everything in it. That was a liberating experience.
  • Stop worrying about what other people think about you. It’s none of your business what other’s think of you. This came to me well into living life. I wish I had a grip on this earlier in my life. But I have a handle on it now.
  • You can’t move forward without a little failure. Failure is a sign that you were courageous enough to try.
  • Get over your anger. Let it go. Unhappiness is a byproduct of living in anger. Learn to release anger….it serves no long term purpose. In fact it is damaging to your health.
  • Being kind to others is being kind to yourself. The experts say that doing good deeds for someone else releases good endorphins in our own brain. Make kindness just part of who you are.
  • Vulnerability in a safe environment, heals emotional pain and strengthens relationships. Be real…and people will be better able to relate to you.
  • Age is a state of mind. We’ve heard this one before. But it’s true. The number of years we’ve lived does not define who we are or who we should be.
  • As with letting go of anger, don’t hold a grudge. Forgive. Carrying a grudge around in your head is like a rust spot on your brain that grows and grows until you are just one big old rusty, cranky person.
  • We are all guilty of “being right” and standing our ground in debates, offering opinions to others that we think are the right answers. We all have a different perspective on things in life. Be open to other’s opinions.
  • Find a hobby you are passionate about. It could be a sport, a craft, reading, gardening, cooking. Whatever it is….put it in your day and feel the joy.
  • Thoughts can become our reality if we let them. Think big. Think happy thoughts, discard worry, discard fear and limiting thoughts.
  • We are all individuals. We can’t change others. Eventually we realize that embracing differences and uniqueness in each other is best.
  • Gratitude is the best attitude. Be grateful for all you have and not ungrateful for all you don’t have.
  • Nobody is perfect and thank goodness for that. Imperfection connects us all to being human.
  • Be honest with yourself. Self-denial is a dangerous way to exist.
  • When you have a heavy heart…time does heal.
  • Respect your body. It does so much each day to keep you functioning. I wish I knew earlier in life, what I know now about nutrition, sleep, exercise etc. Now that I’m living with MS, I realize just how much I took my healthy body for granted.
  • Trust your gut instincts….they are usually right.
  • Words matter – Be mindful of what you say. Once said you cannot take them back.
  • Make every day count. Even if you are living into your 90’s and beyond, value each day. One day will be your last but don’t sit around waiting for that day. Do something each day that makes your day matter.
  • Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.

Since being diagnosed with a chronic and disabling disease, I have read many “spiritual” books. Some were written by psychologists, some by Buddhist monks, and others by people who experienced something life changing and needed to share their story to help others. All of these books I have read have helped me in accepting my unfortunate MS diagnosis. Each book has delivered a message of strength and gratitude and inspiration.

I’m far from perfect and far from living each day using the life lessons above. I have days that I’m angry, days when I’m sad, days when I don’t feel inspired to do anything. We all do. But I find it’s harder to exist in an angry, sad place then it is to be upbeat and do the best to be “my best”.


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