1. Peace of mind is the greatest luxury.
I learned as an adult that peace of mind is the greatest of luxuries and it is expensive. I know that by now. This world is already full of critics and cynics. Every day, I strive not to be one of them. Anyone can say anything to other people with or without tact so I learned how to master the art of not giving a damn about what they say. In this life, I prefer to preserve my energy and be conscious of my mental health. I don’t allow anyone who’s not worth my time take a space in my mind.
Now that I’m grown, having a peaceful life is like an achievement. Not everyone has it —- that sense of peace and contentment. I’d say, it’s what matters the most. All the money in the world will be futile without peace. I’m at a point in my life where I would trade anything to have peace of mind.
So, I learned to let go of anything that’s holding me back —- the grudge, the hurt, frustrations, the regret that I’d been keeping for so long in my heart and mind. I do not dwell too much anymore on the things that cause me pain. I have tamed my demons and learned how to live above them because what other choice do I have?
2. What goes around comes around.
I was wronged by people for some time in my life and I emerged as the victim of their stupidity and greediness. And it became so overwhelming I find it hard to explain my situation even to my closest friends. Most of the time I appear as the offender when all I did was stand up for myself and respond to the disrespect. I’m misunderstood a lot of times. I find it annoying when I respond to the offence, my defense suddenly becomes the offense. How did they turn the tables around? But I believe in “What goes around, comes around.” This belief has helped me get through dark times because whatever it is that is being done to me by other people, I know that one day, it will also be done unto them. Not in the exact way but in the same way that I’d been wronged and hurt. One day, they will have their fair share of pain and frustrations. It made me responsible of my actions knowing that the things that I do to people will be done to me too.
And so, I learned not to explain my decisions concerning my life because I don’t owe anyone an explanation. I listen to advices and wisdom of other people but I always have the final say. I don’t judge people too quickly because I know how it is to be judged.
Another thing is respect. It’s a two-way street. But I find it hard to respect someone I know is not worthy of it so I choose to walk away and not deal with the person because I’m more afraid of the things that I would say and regret it later. The thing with words is you can never take them back so it’s wise to be careful. I believe God knows my heart and with that, I rest my case.
3. Love is a decision.
When I was younger, I have all these usual fantasies of naïve girls that love is magical and all those happy endings I see in watching too much Disney movies. Not that love doesn’t feel like magic but when you become an adult, you know that love isn’t always highs and butterflies but most of the time, pain, sacrifices and commitment which are much more than what we know of love when we were younger. It’s a decision that you constantly make. You decide if you’ll allow this person to come in to your life or let go; if you’ll stay in love with this person and risk being hurt or walk away. The decision is always yours. You have the upper hand. Sometimes, I wish I knew this when I was younger because I would not have dwelt too much on the pain. I had a different idea back then but I knew that I had to go through all those things so I would grow and know what I know now.
I learned that love is hard work and every day it should be renewed and watered to prevent it from dying. You don’t just simply fall out of love. It’s a pile of unnoticed things like unresolved issues and feelings that were shrugged off and will eventually contribute to its inevitable death. When it becomes unbearable, it would be so easy to give up.
I see so many people stay in a toxic relationship disguising it as “love” when it’s obviously not. No pure love is damaging to one’s self. It’s a gift from God therefore, let us DECIDE to love the right way.
4. Before you decide to make your own family, heal first as a person.
Nowadays, there are lot of broken marriages, families and relationships and there could be countless reasons why. I grew up in a family where there are a lot of practices and beliefs leaning toward toxicity. My family have this unbelievable and toxic attitude/mindset disguised as well-intentioned culture. I can’t help but think maybe this is one of the factors contributing to unhealthy mindsets, depressive thoughts leading to broken adults and therefore broken society. It’s hard when your source of stress is your own blood. Cutting ties may not be as easy as you think because the awareness that they are your family gives you the right amount of guilt, a bit of doubt, a sense of responsibility, a lot of what ifs, self-questioning, existential crisis and the list could go on.
So, the decision is in my hands. If I stay and please them, I know that it will never be enough. I bet I could do all the things that they want me to do but they would still have unending demands. I won’t be spotless in their eyes. I’m forever stained. It’s exhausting and draining so for the sake of my mental health, I chose myself. I allowed myself freedom to do things my own way. I won’t be controlled and manipulated anymore.
Now, I keep them at a safe distance, not too near to hurt me and the family that I created but enough to have casual conversations and some dealings on occasions.
To the younger people, I’d say, you need to stop spreading the generational curses. Cut the unhealthy mindset you got from your own family. Heal as a person so your children won’t heal from you too when they become adults.
5. Be the author of your own life.
When I was younger, I turned to people that I looked up to for validation. I always sought approval from my parents and older relatives. But as I grew older, I understood more of things and wanted different things from them. As I mature, I have things that I wanted to do and decisions to make but were in conflict of what they wanted from me. So came the clash and frustrations and disappointments. It was indeed a messy situation but I came out alive with my dignity intact.
I want to do things my own way. I want to be able to decide what I would do and how I do things. The last thing I want is negativity. Either you’re for me or against me. It took me some time to learn how to take control of my own life. And once I did learn, I’m never giving back the pen to anyone. I write the chapters of my own life. It doesn’t have to suit you because it’s for me to live. Nobody is compelled to love me. I love me and that’s good enough.
6. You’re always better than your situation before.
I recalled the times when I prayed so hard for things to get better and how I begged God for enlightenment. Now, I am living that situation that I prayed for. There’s so much to be thankful for in this borrowed life. It may be too difficult sometimes but if I look back, I realize I have gone a long way. Life is so much better now than before. I learned that happiness springs from contentment and that sense of peace.
To all of you who might feel worse now, I’d say, all of these things will make sense someday. When you’re older, you’ll see why you had to experience everything. They are the necessary things for your growth. Though it might feel like there’s no hope for you, but there is. You have to believe that things will get better.
You will be better. Someday, one day. Sooner than you think.
7. Define your own beauty.
I think one of the sources of depression comes from the idea of not feeling beautiful enough, not sexy enough and not good enough. When you grow up in the society having high standards especially to women, where people always have something to say about your body, your weight, your appearance in general and where people set the standard of what’s right for a lady and what’s not, sometimes, unintentionally, there’s a risk that what others say to you will affect you. And somehow unconsciously, you’ll find yourself too immersed in this culture.
I have always been okay with how I look. Thank God for that. I pass as an average-looking woman and I think I’m beautiful enough for me. I don’t have to look like a beauty queen to feel good about myself because that’s not how I define beauty. Beauty for me extends beyond the visual experience; substance; exudes confidence; does not seek validation; being okay with imperfections; is made of art. You are an art.
Yes. YOU are beautiful.
8. Don’t let others force you to go out of your comfort zone.
I heard this many times, “Go out of your comfort zone.” When I was younger, I thought of this as motivational because it pushes you to be better, to spread your wings as they say, to improve. Nothing wrong with that but now that I’m grown, I don’t really find this motivational anymore. Why would you let other people pressure you to do something that you do not want in the first place? It screams chaos. Why would you want to be uncomfortable for the sake of improvement? If you have already found your peace, your contentment in your situation, why would you still go out? Just why? If growth is the issue, then you can still grow within your comfort zone. Go out of your comfort zone only if you want to and not because somebody told you.
Grow at your own time and not because somebody pressured you to grow faster. Stay in your comfort zone because it is good for your mental health and please don’t let others destroy your peace.
9. Find that one thing that people can’t take away.
Sometimes, it’s exhausting to deal with other people. They take away your peace of mind and it would make you think of retreating to some unknown place to unwind. Sometimes it gets too loud. So many opinions, philosophies, sarcasms and many more.
As an adult, I learned to have this very one thing that no one can take away from me and that is having my own identity. That sense of self, very empowering. Living your life without seeking validation from other people. Living your life minding your own business is a dream come true. So, I hope you too find your true self and in under no circumstance should you lose yourself because of others.
10. Forgive yourself.
Now that I have reached adulthood, I learned that the hardest to forgive is myself. There were times when I was so hard on myself. I would blame all things to me. And I can’t easily let go of my mistakes even when I already learned from them. It kept me up at night tossing and turning in my bed. There were so many “what ifs” and self-reflection when I was younger and they boil down to the same conclusion that I was wrong and I couldn’t forgive myself for it. Sometimes I created scenarios where I was the victim or the villain in the story and other times, I make scenes where I would intentionally hurt myself although not physically. Anyone would’ve thought I’m going crazy. I overthought thinks through for a span of time and the habit had taken a toll on me.
Over time, when you get older, you’ve come to terms with many things. That’s when I learned how to slowly adapt to the world. I’ve come to a conclusion that the world won’t change for me. So, I changed my view of the world around me. I started to value and love myself more. Finally, I accepted who I was, what I have done, and learned to let go of the things that were out of my control. Then the forgiveness came. It was a long process but a necessary one. I had to go through all those so I would be cleansed and I could start anew without regret.
To the younger ones, I pray you have your self-identity so you wouldn’t rely on others for validation. I hope you find it in you to be gentle and not inflict pain on yourself. The world may be cruel, emotionally and mentally abusive at times but there are always reasons to live. Hold on to that and you’ll be okay.
If you wish to read related blogs, you may want to read this too. Reasons Why You Need to Keep Your Life Private.
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