**LONG POST ALERT **
Hello and welcome back! As we all know that January was a trial month for most of us, so I guess it’s right for me to wish you a Happy New Year 2018!
I know it has been a long time coming since I posted and I’m not about to give you the fake excuses, but I have really missed writing and it’s amazing to be back and I’m hoping to be consitent.
So as we start a new year, I was doing some reflections of 2017 and decided that it would be a nice idea to share my lessons from it. I hope they may also resonate with you.
#1 Prayer Moves Mountains
My theme verses for last year were 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18, and verse 17 reminds me to “pray continually“. This means at all times we need to be praying, through the ups and downs of life we are still to pray to God. Whether you are seeing the fruits of your prayer or not, you are still called upon to pray as we know God always has a plan for each and everyone of us.
#2 Patience is a Virtue
2017 really taught me to be patient in many aspects of my life. I learnt to be patient with myself and my life and where I was. I learnt to take life one step at a time and not just speeding through it. Patience as well with my locs, my crown! This was the hardest but really paid off as I saw them grow eventually. As well patience with people around me especially who seem to be in rush to go no where in particular. Patience is a virtue that takes you through a journey and you need to be prepared for it.
#3 Service Creates Meaning
I don’t know about you, but I know that once one does a small act of service, you are instantly filled with a certain joy that cannot be explained (A-kafeeling hivi, hahaha) I was able to engage in community work for close to 3 months while I was home and every time I left the place, I was feeling fulfilled though tired. With that experience, it affirmed why I am in my course and why exactly I am studying.
#4 Listen Before Reacting
I have learnt to listen first then respond in all situations and I have noted that I am less aggressive than I was a few years back. If you learnt to watch your words and actions, you are more reasonable in your speech. You are also able to understand where the other person is coming from and not just jumping to conclusions. Personally, my younger brother has just been an avenue for me to practice this as he takes every chance(not really, but most) he has to piss me off but I have learnt to listen to him rather than been aggressive as well. I still love him despite it all.
#5 Learn to accept when you are wrong
This goes hand in hand with #4. Learn to receive correction and apologize when you go wrong. Just swallow your pride and ego and apologize. It may be hard at first but it is in the first steps of being a better human.
#6 Your experiences make you
Experiences have so much value as they add to your character and build you as a person. First-hand experience will never be the same and it is always the best. Therefore, go out, experiment and find out for yourself.
#7 Turn your words into actions
There certain things you keep on saying, “I think I will do it. I feel like trying it out.” Instead of just thinking them, get up and just do it! (Pun intended) For example, for the longest time I had always wanted to have a blog, I didn’t know what it would be about, but I wanted it. One day, last year, I just woke up and just started creating it and here we are! It always starts with a thought, but the action will be what will propel the thought into reality.
#8 Be willing to experience pain
Pain is inevitable and even though we try as much to build up walls around ourselves, we still have to experience it. There is no other way of getting rid of pain if not going through it and that way you become stronger. We are reminded in the Bible that mourning last only the night, and joy comes in the morning. No matter how long your mourning or pain is, there is joy that is coming your way, so Rejoice!
#9 Forgiveness is your gift
Learn to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are weak, but rather strong enough to understand that giving up on resentment and hate will bring happiness to your life. You only hurt yourself more when you hold on to the hate and anger. Once you learn to let go, you will have peace and be happy.
#10 Self-love is a Major Key
Learn to appreciate yourself and care for yourself despite and in spite of your circumstances. Everything starts with self love. Once you love yourself, others will be able to love and respect you. Self-love is a journey and doesn’t happen overnight, so be willing to sacrifice in order to feel loved by yourself.
#11 Learning is forever
Learning never stops and neither should you. Take time to learn a new skill, read something different that you normally wouldn’t gravitate to, or engage in a new sport. All these will help to keep your mind engaged and keep your brain active. I learnt that I can do bead-work and writing last year and really perfected them towards the end of the year.
ALWAYS be grateful. There is so much in this world that you need to be grateful to God for. Going back to my theme verse of last year, verse 18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in your life through Christ Jesus.” Many times in 2017 I felt things were just not going well and I had stop myself from complaining and instead pray and give thanks for surely God has a great plan in all this. So before you open your mouth to complain about something, give thanks always.
What is one lesson that you have learnt in 2017 or even in years before? You can share your insights below in the comment section.
Photo credits: Danfas Nelson,Nick Kibe, Mr. Abdul and Mama <3.
P.S:Photos were taken at different times within the course of 2017.