Why can’t we just know things? It would be so simple to be born with 100% ability to make perfect decisions: know who to trust, who to love, know how to navigate relationships, be certain of every career move, etc. Just the thought brings a feeling of perfect bliss. But, that’s not reality. It ain’t gonna happen. We are going to make mistakes. We’re gonna fall down, get hurt, face fear and have to try for better results over and over again. That’s life.
Although I don’t like the pain, I’ve learned to appreciate the life lessons that come with making mistakes. They are necessary. They help to make me more mature. In fact, they have a way of centering me and teaching me to focus. The mistakes and wrong turns that I make, teach me perfect lessons about what’s important, healthy, unhealthy, right or wrong for me, etc. Without them, I wouldn’t know who I am. I wouldn’t have the constantly growing sense of who people are.
People are people. There are many differences but more similarities. We all hurt, cry, laugh, feel afraid and alone, get hungry, get sick, have money, lose money, experience betrayal and acceptance, make decisions, regret decisions, and more. Unfortunately, we sometimes hurt people. We may not try to but it happens anyway. There’s no getting around it.
Life experiences are designed to be lessons. Teaching moments that provide us with more understanding and insight into who we are and why we do the things we do. These moments can also help us better understand others. They help us determine better ways to carry ourselves and/or respond to the circumstances around us. Sometimes, these lessons seem to be on repeat because we just don’t get them.
One lesson that has been on repeat for me is personal vulnerability. Because I have changed and evolved so much over recent years, the areas where I’m most vulnerable seem to have evolved as well. Or maybe, they’re packaged differently. In some ways, they are very different while in other ways, they are much the same. I’ve had to learn to be more cognizant of my weaknesses so that my survival tactics are relevant.
Another thing I have had to learn is how to let people into my life. Not the action, but the position to place them. This is crucial. Not everyone will be a priority to me and I will not be everyone’s priority. It’s not my job to save the world, love all the loveless, and pour hope into every hopeless heart. It’s my job to be properly aligned with my purpose and to be in alignment with the will of God. My heart is huge and it’s open. It’s no longer hardened by life and the pain I’ve experienced. It’s a beacon of bright light. So, I attract a lot of people. Some for the good, others for the — how do I say this? — lessons. Yes, needed lessons.
Because of the work that I do professionally (life coaching, depression advocacy, etc.) I sometimes feel that I should know more than I do. I’m hard on myself when I make mistakes and I’m tempted to give in to my old ways of being a perfectionist and obsessing over my image and wanting to appear to have it all together. But I refuse. I’ve earned every bit of insight that I have. No matter how embarrassing the mistakes, I have to own them. I have to allow my mistakes to make me better. Thankfully, my clients benefit, too.
Recently, I was reminded of how important it is to stay focused on making sure that every relationship in my life is healthy and mutually beneficial at all times. I made the common mistake of opening my heart too wide to someone with whom I was not aligned. We went our separate ways and I got hurt. I have been upset with God and myself. Upset with God for allowing the oppprtunity to come in the first place and upset with myself for not focusing on the overall condition of the relationship sooner. I know better. But guess what? It’s all good! The sting in my heart doesn’t feel good but you better believe I’m more focused. On top of that, my openness to love, friendship and people in general hasn’t changed. I didn’t resort to bitterness and I didn’t close my heart. I’m just more in tune with me and know how to more effectively evaluate who gets inside my intimate space. I’m more selective.
In many ways, I knew this. I just forgot. Or better yet, I didn’t really understand it the way I do now. So, in my MsMissy fashion, I pass this reminder on to you. It’s so important that we protect our energy. We have to protect our spirits, our bodies and our minds. Not everyone and everything deserves a seat at the table. We can be warm and inviting but not all-inclusive. Just like a business or an elite club, there’s got to be levels to this thing.
I want you to win. I want you to shine. I wish for you happiness, love and friendship beautiful beyond words or imagination. I wish for you strength, courage and understanding. May you live in balance and carefulness. I pray that each of us would take the time to take extra special care of ourselves. We only get one life. We deserve to live the best one!