Well folks…it’s December, nearly Christmas, and we have reached the closing of another year. 2017 has been monumental in ways both negative and positive. First of all Donald Trump took office and our country is going through a racial divide, never before seen in my lifetime. Beyonce’ gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir and the hive LOST their minds. Followed by a slew of hurricanes and more terror attacks than I’d like to sit and think about. I personally gained an angel in my beautiful mother Kathy Lee Brooks and married my best friend. It’s been a hard one to say the least and it seems like it’s been a rough year for a lot of us.
JUST THROW THE WHOLE YEAR AWAY!
Wait…even though this year has been trying it has successfully spawned a host of lessons and takeaways, to implement in the coming 2018.
Lesson 1: It ain’t nothing to cut them off
Why is it so difficult for us to let go of things that are unfavorable? Be it a diet, lifestyle, an addiction, or even a person in our lives? Man, I wish I knew the answer…but regardless at some point in your life you have to come to terms with the fact that EVERYBODY IS NOT FOR YOU. Yes, I said it. Your ride or die from high school or college. Your significant other who you’ve been rocking with for 5+ years. That one person you’ve known since childhood…let me be the first or the thousandth person to let you know that everyone isn’t meant to make it to 2018 with you. 2017 has really made it easy for me to hit anyone with the…
And let me be clear…it’s not about being messy, ugly, or wishing any ill will upon anyone. It’s about realizing that everything and everyone placed on this earth isn’t for me. && I’ve learned that that’s okay. The world will keep spinning. My life will go and so will theirs. But listen here…if you are holding on to the wrong people out of fear than you are a long way off from finding peace. If someone takes from you more than they are willing to give…CUT THEM OFF. If she only calls when she needs you and never to see if she is needed…CUT HER OFF. If he is draining your self-esteem, your peace of mind, and your sanity…CUT HIM OFF. Take this next year to stop allowing the enemy to cripple you with the fear of making healthy decisions, in your life. The freedom you will feel when those strongholds are gone is unmatched.
Lesson 2: Stop Worrying About What They Think
I was having a conversation with my mother in law recently and it brought to light another way I’ve grown this year. I’ve finally realized that the perception that others have of me is their problem…not my own. People are always going to be worried about things that don’t concern them. Things that don’t affect them in any shape, form, or fashion. Why? I have no idea but who really cares?
I used to feel the need to defend myself against opinions of me that were erroneous. Then I realized everyone whose opinion even remotely matters already knows whats up. You are always going to have spectators, skeptics, haters, and other people who just want to dissect the issues they can see in your life because they are tired of facing their own. In fact it’s normally the people who don’t have their own affairs in order who are going to come at you. Why? Well I actually know the answer to this one. Lol. It’s because the people who have their lives together aren’t wasting time focusing on the next household and what they are or are not doing. They are focusing on building the people around them up and not bringing them down. But in any case I’m GROWN. I don’t have time to concern myself with the life that others think I should be living. Pleasing God, my husband, and making sure that my child is MORE than well taken care of are my only focuses. Get to a place where you are so sure of who you are that you do not look to others, to validate the way you feel about yourself.
Lesson 3: Positivity Is Key
Why is it human nature to see the glass as half empty vs half full? There are so many beautiful things in this world but for whatever reason, we choose to highlight the negatives. Over the last month I have dealt with pain and heartache greater than any in my life. I had to take time to learn how to best heal and protect my heart and mind from the day to day struggles that seemed to pile atop of another. The answer was actually pretty simple. Remain positive, search to find the beauty or lesson in every hardship, and always keep my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. I won’t say this is something that I have always been proficient at (because I definitely haven’t)…but I began to develop a deeper understanding of the phrase “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” So instead of taking time to focus on all of things that went wrong this past year, I began to focus on all the ways things went right (which I highlighted in my last article “2017 a year of growth, loss, and restoration”). In 2018 adjust your view of failure, struggles, and even heartaches. There is a lesson in every journey we find ourselves in. Take time to reflect and find each of these lessons through meditation and prayer. In doing this you take the negatives in your life and redefine them for good. It’s good for your soul, great actually. Master this and you will gain the ability to find peace in the midst of any storm you encounter.
Lesson 4: Treasure the genuine people in your life
It goes without saying that loss has a way of making you appreciate what you have. Having a strong support system is vital, guys…like really! I could not have gotten through this year without God and the people he has placed in my life to keep me uplifted. First of all…I’m a newlywed. I married the man of my dreams on November 3rd and my heart has been convulsing with joy ever since. He has truly been more than I could have ever imagined. There is no greater feeling than coming home, falling into his arms, and feeling safer than I’ve ever felt in this life. Safe from the world, safe from heartache, safe from ever feeling alone. His eyes ground me, his warmth calms me, and his laugh soothes me. He is my escape. Anyone who know me knows I will go to war with anyone over that man…and if I don’t say it enough…
Kenneth Christian Cole…you are my AIR.
&& as if he wasn’t more than enough I have an inner circle of friends who has held me through so many tears. From my best friend taking the trip from ATL several weekends in a row to just be by my side…to every one of my closest friends allowing my tears to drench their shoulders, at one time or another. God knew that this was a road I did not need to travel alone. && as if they weren’t more than enough I have a family biological and in laws who have rallied around me and given me more love than my heart has room to hold. These are the people that you treasure. The people whose mark on your heart and in your life is so transcendent, that their absence would leave a hole. In 2018 do not take for granted that these people won’t be here forever. Cherish them, love them, make time for them no matter what season you are in. My mom, who will always be a monumental force in my life (whether she is here or in heaven) will always know how deep my love and appreciation for her goes. God will bless your life with people whose love knows no conditions and those are the people that are supposed to finish the race with you.
Lesson 5: Enjoy the Journey
Every obstacle I’ve faced this year has made a mark on who I am. We are ever changing and evolving beings. We need hardships to mold us and to help us grow. Sometimes we are so anxious to get out of the storm that we forget what a blessing the rain is.
Don’t take for granted the journey to becoming the flower…for without it our petals would never smell as sweet. There is beauty in the journey. You just have to find it.
Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s not about never failing or making mistakes. It’s about the way you bounce back. It’s about striving to be the best possible version of yourself at all times. In order to do that you have to make sure you surround yourself with the right people, stop stressing about things that are out of your control, know when to make life cuts, and remember that what is for you WILL ALWAYS BE FOR YOU.
Be better. Be braver. Take educated risks. Love some one. Love everyone.
Conquer this new year like no other.
&& Stay. GOLDEN. Y’all.