3 Lessons Learned in 2017
Less is More
In my 2017 goals review post, I mentioned that I had rid myself of bags and bags worth of belongings I didn't need anymore. I sold pairs of shoes I hadn't worn, donated preloved clothes, and traded in tons of DVDs I had only watched a handful of times - if that.
Passing on items that added very little value to my life has given me room to breathe. Just upon entering my no-longer-overflowing-bedroom, my mind feels decluttered. It has been magic to find out just how much more having less has done for my overall wellbeing.
I am far more appreciative of the items I own, and I am now mindful when it comes to bringing something new into my space too. When it comes to spending, I take time to consider what I need or if it would bring me prolonged joy. I can still get a little too spend-happy from time to time, but I have made such a huge upheaval, that I have no intention to revert back to my old ways!
Same Shit, Different Outcome
This one is quite straight forward. I realised that sometimes you have to go through the same shit in order to learn the lesson it is teaching you.
Experiencing something unpleasant naturally leaves you feeling deflated; even more so if you have been through it more than once. But instead of asking "Why me?" in frustration, I now ask it with curiosity. What is it trying to teach me?
In Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (2016), author and life coach Tony Robbins highlights the notion that life is working for you, not against you. Blowing off a bad experience in its entirety offers no closure nor conclusion. Yet being analytical, curious, and objective, allows for room to process it thoroughly, as well as find out more about yourself and others.
Taking the time, patience, and strength to relive it all, has shown me warning signs, let me establish ways to avoid making the same mistakes, and made me appreciate that going through a bad experience can actually help me in the long run. So, whilst going through hardships will always be rough, if I have to go through something more than once to learn the lesson from it, that is okay too.
Hope, Not Happiness
I can't count the amount of times I have told myself, and others, that all I want is to be happy. I figured that nothing else would matter if I was happy, and so that became my main goal. But I was wrong.
During one of many YouTube binges, I came across this live performance. Before playing Hate To See Your Heartbreak, Paramore's lead singer Hayley Williams dedicates the song to bandmate Taylor York. She addresses challenging times the band has been through, and the joy playing music with friends has brought her. The entire speech is touching, but there were a few lines that stood out to me, which are as follows:
"The ironic thing about declaring your happiness, is that life doesn't just stay where you are. It keeps going. And I hate to break it to you, but, happiness should never be the goal. It shouldn't. Maybe hope should, but happiness shouldn't."
This made me realise that pinning everything on happiness, whilst seeming reasonable at first, isn't feasible, nor entirely fulfillable, or realistic... No matter how much I have, and how much I succeed, there will always be down days or bad experiences. That's life. And life is unpredictable and forever changing.
Unwavering hope on the other hand, has continuously given me something to hold onto. Choosing hope over happiness kept me here when I felt all was lost. Hope has made the darkest hours bearable and the lightest ones even brighter; and I believe that is more than searching for happiness could ever give me.
"Don't let being sad or being upset about something take your hope away from you, ever."
- Hayley Williams
What lessons did you learn in 2017?