10 THINGS THIS YEAR HAS TAUGHT ME

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1. LIFE IS TRULY SHORT
We all say it but there comes a time, for everyone, when this truth actually sinks in and nestles somewhere in our brains, affecting every single little thing that we do. This happened for me in 2019 and I am so very glad it did. There is no longer anything ‘kept for best’ or ‘saved for a rainy day’. It is all used and enjoyed and appreciated, right here, right now.

2. I STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO
Just when I think I have reached a pinnacle in my life development, I peep over the precipice and see a whole new mountain to climb. But that is okay, it really is, because now I have the tools and the skills I need, to scale them more effortlessly. I enjoy the views a whole lot more now too. Wow, they are just beautiful.

3. YOU CAN’T KEEP EVERYONE WITH YOU
Some of our dearest loves may have left us this year – and that is the hardest lesson to learn in life. It’s not the losing so much – as the living without them. It is like re-learning how to breathe. Likewise, we lose friends in other ways too, not to death but to the passage of time and the growing apart of personalities. It is hard to let go but imperative that we do. If they are not with you now, they were never yours to keep.

4. MOTHER NATURE IS IN CHARGE
This year in particular, has reminded us just how powerful this planet, on which we live, is. We can evolve and build and progress as much as we like, but we will never control the weather. Mother Nature can show us in one swift move how fleeting and precious all life on earth is. Humbling, to say the least.

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5. SOME THINGS MAY NEVER CHANGE
Religion and politics are two institutions that cause most of the unrest and grief within our world. Just when we think we may be making progress, it can be truly disheartening to see things sliding back the way they came, and at the will of the people too. It is a hard pill to swallow but no matter how evolved mankind becomes; there will always, always, be opposing factions that just cannot see eye to eye. We must never stop trying though.

6. BAD THINGS HAPPEN
And mostly, to good people. Whilst it remains impossible to make sense of it all, it helps to keep our eyes, and our hopes, on the people helping, on the stories of love, survival, endurance, faith. The world is ultimately good. That’s what matters.

7. BRAVERY COMES IN MANY FORMS
And normally not the ones that pre-empt a sky dive or a fight – or anything ‘bold’ in fact. Bravery is shown in many ways, every day, with people silently fighting mental health battles or abusive relationships, withholding secrets they know are too dangerous to share. Fighting demons that only exist to torture them. If you know what to look for, you will see how surrounded by bravery we are, every day.

8. NOBODY REALLY KNOWS YOUR STORY
Nor do you really know theirs. Be kind, always. Don’t judge if you can help it – we are all doing the very best we can and we all have our troubles to face when we turn out the lights at night. If you can start each day seeing everyone without judgement and with fresh eyes, you will make decisions that come from the heart. You will spread light instead of casting shade.

9. WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING TO HELP
Even if it is a tiny little thing; all we can possibly spare that day, it matters. It may only matter to one person but imagine the effect if every person helped one person – every day. You don’t need me to do the maths there; that is a world full of kindness given and burdens shared. Imagine for a moment….how wonderful that would be.

10. WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE
Lastly, I am leaving this year with the realisation that life is about so much more than destinations, it is about the journey. The journey is every bit as important as the final goal. Stop and smell the roses along the way. Be where you are, be fully, really-fully, there. Don’t be continuously distracted by the next thing. Ignore what you ‘could’ have – focus on what you do have. It is the fastest way to experience peace and that oh so enigmatic feeling of ‘happiness’.

© LPIO 2018 Donna Ashworth

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