You made it! Here are the last ten pieces of wisdom I’ve learned in 30 years of life. Thank you so much for taking time out of your life to connect with my heart, soul and mind! I hope you enjoy the finale of my series, and that something spoke to you, touched you and encouraged you!
- Death is a part of life, and it always will be.
We live to die. I know this sounds horrid, but it’s the truth. We are all born one day and we will inevitably die one day. So don’t fear death, but make sure your life is worth leaving behind. Make sure you did all of the things you hoped and dreamed, or at least tried (although Yoda said “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” I SOO believe this! Watch the clip from Star Wars here). Be who it is that you want to be, do what you want to do. Live for God and you. Don’t fear death, but fight it by living the best life you could live.
- Forgive often, quickly and wholeheartedly.
I learned the hard way how unforgiveness is poison to the body, mind and soul. I carried my pain, anger and sorrow from the things people said, did and how they treated me every single day. I was THE Bag Lady (thank you Ms. Badu!). I was holding on to things people said and did in elementary school ya’ll, elementary! I didn’t realize all of the things I was holding until my therapist asked me to talk about it. This is when I started to learn what forgiveness means, and how important it is to realize that what they did or said had nothing to do with me and everything to do with them. I began to accept that life is different, that I was different because of what they did or said. I chose to go through the pain, to feel it all, as long as I needed to, but to let it go sooner rather than later. I freed myself by detaching my heart, soul and mind from the pain, from the desire to see them hurt for their wrong(s). Search your heart for the better part of you and lean into it, draw it out of yourself. Become who you want to be, not a mosaic of what people have done or said to you.
- Introverts are awesome!
I would know because I’m an introvert, an INFJ to be exact! Introverts are amazing – their quiet spirit moves the world, they live in their minds and see things that other people don’t. For most of my life, I’ve been an AWKWARD black Girl and Insecure woman (thank you Issa Rae for living your truth, our truth!). Being quiet was weird to people, and they not only thought it but they made sure I knew it. They wanted me to talk instead of write, and eloquently recite Easter poems instead of cry my eyes out without a word. Cue “You gotta watch the quiet ones” (double eye roll). It took up until last year for me to start embracing my introverted qualities such as being intuitive, observant, etc. We listen, say exactly what we intend to say (most of the time), enjoy meaningful dialogue, focus, seek and share truth, and we’re leaders. It’s exactly what I need to fulfill my purpose, become who I am meant to be and change the world! Some of the most powerful, influential people in the world are/were introverts – from Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks and Barack Obama.
- Faith is developed by taking risks.
Faith isn’t developed by playing it safe or being comfortable. I quit my job in March of 2015 without a savings, another job lined up, but belief that God would take care of me. And He has. I started a small business, have been writing and editing, working in the television and film industries – all of the things I’ve dreamed of doing. Taking a leap of faith in God freed me to pursue and live a life of purpose, of continual growth. It freed me to put my trust in God and see what He had in store for me. It allowed Him to work through me. You can only develop faith by taking risks, and the more risks you take, the bigger your faith gets. The bigger your faith gets, the bigger your dreams become and the more amazing your life story. We can (and will) do all things through Christ who strengthens us!
- God answers prayers.
Praying is simply talking to God. Just like you would your Mom, best friend, or sister. When we talk to God, He already knows beforehand what it is that we will be coming to talk to Him about. He knows what our hearts desire, what our soul needs and what we need to hear. When we come to Him, it’s simply acknowledging the Creator and love that knows us more than we know ourselves. It might take minutes, hours, days, weeks or years, but we must hold on to our faith. It could be as simple as saying “God!” In 2009, I was in a car accident, hit by an SUV in a near head-on collision. My car was tossed to and fro, and I was scared and confused. I shouted “Jesus!”, and in an instant everything stopped. God knew exactly what I needed. When we ask for something and believe that God will provide, He does.
- Enjoy every moment of life, because one day will be your last.
Literally, like for real – DON’T sweat the small stuff. It isn’t worth your anxiety, stress, energy or happiness. Let most things slide on by, and keep your eyes, heart, soul and mind on what’s most important. So the server at your favorite restaurant had a bad attitude – maybe their family member, the reason they were holding on to life, just died. Tap into your compassion and choose to be a light to someone else. Life is too short to remain bitter, negative and in a cycle of darkness. Choose light and love.
- Become the person you want to see in the world.
Become what you want to experience from others. Period. Even if they do you wrong. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept what they did, but you have to choose better. You know why? Because there’s this thing called karma, better known as reaping and sowing, that says that what you put into the world, how you treat others; materializes for you as well. So if you want good; be good. If you want love, be love. Become what you want your life experiences and relationships to be.
- It’s important to take care of your mind, body and soul.
Neglecting the totality of your being is dangerous. You are not just what you see in the mirror. What’s inside of you will become your reflection in the mirror. You can’t hide what’s on the inside forever – from the greasy foods to cold heart and negative thinking. They all surface at one time or another, whether it’s an illness, acne, poor relationships, bad decisions, etc. So eat good things, read uplifting books, watch encouraging films and television shows, exercise and challenge your mind. Focus on becoming a better you.
- Never stop learning.
Stay committed to challenging your background, current thoughts, beliefs, knowledge and ways of doing things. Be dedicated to expanding your knowledge, accepting that you don’t know everything and you never will. There is always something to learn from other people, so open your mind to the possibility that you can be even more enlightened and graced with knowledge. Indulge in books, documentaries, television shows and other content that you don’t normally interact with. They might offer an answer to a question you’ve posed, help you find an unconventional solution to a common problem, or encourage you to view life, situations or circumstances in a new light. A great way to strengthen your position or belief in something is to challenge it and learn about the alternatives. Become a student of life.
- Every day you breathe is a gift from God.
When I wake up in the morning, I thank God for another day to fulfill His destiny for my life, to fulfill His purpose for me on earth. I am so grateful for His grace, love and mercy. Like so many others, the moment, day or night before could have been my last. But I have another chance to do better, to get better, and to become who God created and designed me to be.
Did you catch part three but missed parts one and two? Read the entire series from beginning to end, starting with 30 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 30 Years (Part One) and 30 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 30 Years (Part Two).
Thank you so much for choosing to read my 30 life lessons!
What are your favorite nuggets of wisdom from the series?
P.S. Don’t forget to share this with your family and friends!
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: Brown Girl Bloggers