A Year of Lessons Learned

It has been awhile, I know.

I have been on a tough path for just about a full year now and things are all finally falling into place and my life not only getting back to normal, but propelling me into good things I never imagined were possible . The best part is my creativity, which had been lacking, is coming back in full swing.

Over this past year I have learned a lot of important lessons. I pulled out a journal to start creating a spread documenting the most potent ones I feel I have learned the past year, and was hesitant to use it. It is so beautiful and the paper amazingly smooth, I love working in it, but the person who gifted it to me is a dark spot on my path. In the end, I decided since it is a part of my journey where I learned some of these lessons, that this journal was the most fitting to add the spread to.

The photo above was taken while I was sitting outside thinking about how I wanted to lay this out. Here is the final spread:

Lessons Learned

I. People come into your life for a reason, and they leave for a lesson
Not all of them leave, but with the ones who do, there is always a lesson to be learned. You can sit and wallow in the unfairness of it, beating yourself up for letting yourself get into the situation that you let carry on for too long in the first place. But the lesson is what needs to be focused on. What you learn and how you move forward with that new found knowledge, that is where growth comes from. And that is what makes something sad and heartbreaking worthwhile in the long run. Showing gratitude for the good parts and the lesson, and letting the bad go.

II. Everything boils down to expectation and perception
Everyone comes from different places. We all view the world through the lenses which we grew up creating based on our environments, and we all react based off these views. No one is perfect. We all have things to work on, growth to do, issues to overcome. The thing that I learned is I need to put myself first, and not let the actions or words of someone else affect me through my lens. So I try to approach every situation and every person now with no expectations or perceptions attached.

III. Your greatest strengths can also be your greatest weakness
I am very sensitive and empathetic. I have learned this makes me open to a lot of emotions others are feeling, and makes me feel my own things very deeply. This is a great strength to be able to relate to people, listen to them, and offer help. But it also is a weakness that allows me to be taken advantage of, or for granted, easily, which always leads to my being hurt. It also contributes to my being very hard on myself. I am learning to give myself a break and ground myself more in my values and personal beliefs so I can better weather the emotions and words of others.

IV. Getting yourself is more important than others getting you
I yearn for connection, it is the underlaying longing that guides a lot of my actions, thoughts and words in both positive and negative ways. I have learned this past year that no matter how much someone else may understand me, or click with me, it means nothing if I do not understand or click with myself. So I have taken a lot of time to journal (just not artistically) about who I am and who I want to show up as in the world, and this has helped me get more familiar with myself, and form a deeper connection to who I am.

V. You never realize the depth of your strength until you are tested.
I have been tested in so, so many ways this past year. I have lost a lot. I was at the lowest point of my entire life up until a few months ago, and it was hard. I am so thankful for the supportive friends I have in my life that helped me though it, beacuse I know I was difficult to be around. I wallowed and cried more than I want to admit, and I felt so weak and helpless, wanting to just give up. Even my friends were saying “Wow, you really deserve a break” as one bad thing came onto my path after another. But I made it! And I am stronger now because of all I have overcome! And this book always helped me in the past to deal with the circumstances life throws at you, and it was comforting to read it again and helped keep my head afloat.

Of course I learned quite a few other lessons along the way, but these five are the ones that stand out to me the most as this year comes to a close for me, not the calendar year, but the year of my patch as I like to call it (short for rough patch). I am looking ahead with Grace, Gratitude & Love in my heart with hopes for the next year to be amazing.

What lessons have you learned over the past year?