5 life lessons learnt in 2016

I was initially gonna write something along the lines of “30 realisations at 30” since I joined the Big 3 Club this year, but looking at how long-winded I am capable of being, you might only end up reading up till #5 or up to #10 if I’m lucky. So, I decided to just sum it all up and share the 5 most important life lessons I’ve learnt in 2016.

1) Pain is the master of teachings.

The best way to learn something, unfortunately, is through pain. Yup, learning it the hard way is usually the best way we can remember things. I don’t mean to wish pain upon you, but you can be sure that you will remember the lesson for life.

2) Self-worth is self-earned.

I can’t bestow self-worth upon you like that, even though I wish I could sometimes. Self-worth, like respect, needs to be earned and only you can do that. Only you can decide how you should love yourself and how much you want to.

3) Strength is discovered when you’re at your weakest.

Ironically, your true strength doesn’t come when you think you’re at your strongest or best shape in life. It is when you’re down and out, rock bottom, and at a complete loss, that you start to see how much strength you actually have inside of you. We all have the strength, but a lot of times our self-doubt causes us to mask our real capabilities.

4) Time is the best healer.

I know it sucks when you’re in the thick of the pain and people tell you: “Time will heal”, “This too shall pass”, “You will get better in time”. But as annoying as this might get, it IS true. Because after you’ve recovered and you look back, you might feel a little sheepish about how silly you were back then. But that’s ok – that’s how we learn. So trust in time – it will heal wounds. Time can’t take away your scars, but these scars should only serve as a reminder of how far you have come.

5) Forgiveness will set you free.

The other day I came across this video on Facebook and it struck all the right chords. Here’s what the video said:

“When someone does something to you that is unforgivable, there is only one thing to do – forgive them. We need to exit any interaction that is toxic, not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. That means we don’t volunteer to carry around hate.

Wishing someone ill, hoping that they would get what’s coming to them, wanting them to suffer because of what they did… we think that thinking this way makes us feel better and lighter, but we just feel worse and heavier – weighed down by the bitterness in our hearts. 

We think that we are making the OTHER person suffer by not forgiving them, that they would feel bad all the way to their grave… but it is not possible to IMPOSE conscience onto a person. When we don’t forgive, it just means that we are the only one who still cares. 

When someone has wronged you – think of how they must be suffering to say these things, to do these things. Only someone truly unhappy would be like that to another human being. Every hurt they inflict, every temper they throw and every abuse they mete out – it’s caused by their own inability to be happy. Now the best thing to do… is to NOT be like them. It’s to live a happy life. 

Maybe they’ve left physical scars on you, but don’t allow them to leave emotional scars too.

Forgiveness is hard, but only if we think of it as a sacrifice of our pride or justice. Forgiveness is simply letting go. You forgive to let things go. 

Letting go is never for the person who wronged us – it’s for ourselves. Letting go of hate is the best gift you can ever give yourself. You’ve already suffered, now don’t continue to suffer. Forgive, let go, and allow yourself to move forward in life, and be happy, always.”

So as much as the pain is still fresh in your heads and hearts, I encourage you to forgive and let go. That’s the only way you can free yourself. It’s all about you now, who cares about the ones who hurt you? Walk away with your head held high.