I’m a lover, not a fighter, so there’s really no one and nothing that I hate. Except some insects. Ok, and perhaps one particular Cheeto-skinned, loudmouth individual who irks my nerves. But other than that, I’m not about hate. Give me love, peace, happiness and laughter any day! But I have to say, I really hated 2017. It’s funny – I bought this ‘HATE 17’ sequin tee shirt back in 2014. Little did I know then how prophetic it would be. (Yes, I know the ’17’ probably isn’t referring to a year, but just go with me on this, okay?!) Anyway, 2017 was a year filled with hate and awful experiences. And personally, it was, without a doubt, the toughest year of my life. I experienced so much negativity, loss, pain, confusion, loneliness and sadness. At times I felt raw, like a wound left unhealed. And apparently I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. So many friends and acquaintances expressed that it was the worst year of their lives as well. 2017 was a doozy for many! But the bright side is that we made it through!
If I could erase a year from my memory, 2017 would be it. But that’s not possible. Plus, I know this year was full of learning experiences that I continue to draw from. You can’t have the good without the bad. You can’t have peaks without the valleys. And you can’t have a testimony without the test. All of the personal trials I faced definitely brought me even closer to God. I relied on prayer and my faith more, when it seemed it was all I had left. And God came through! Despite the suffering, I received so many great blessings. For every loss, I received even greater gains. For all of the hatred and negativity I was subjected to, I experienced even greater positivity, and love and light. For all of the setbacks, God pushed me forward. And I came out on the other side, all in one piece! I can’t say I’m happy to have gone through all I went through last year, but I definitely learned from my experiences, bad and good.
Here are 17 lessons I learned (or relearned) in 2017:
1. Start and end every day with a prayer – prayer works!
2. Find something good in every day and find a reason to laugh every day.
3. When people show you who they are, don’t try to make excuses for or justify their behavior – believe them immediately.
4. Make friends with people who have a zest for life and a fun, good spirit.
5. Surround yourself with as much positivity as possible.
6. People will be there for you if you need them, but mostly on their terms, not yours.
7. You know all the things you promised yourself? Well, remember that life is short so do what you want, eat what you want, wear what you want and go where you want now – don’t put things off!
8. Many people are more concerned with being labeled a “good [ENTER TITLE HERE]” than actually doing what needs to be done to truly BE a “good [ENTER TITLE HERE]”
9. When people have made their minds up about who they think you are, nothing you do will prove them otherwise. Stop trying to prove yourself to people who don’t really want to know who you truly are.
10. Everything happens for a (good) reason. Yes, it’s the most clichéd phrase — but it’s so true. Even if you don’t know the reason things are happening, trust the process and have a little patience – all will be revealed at the right time.
11. Don’t rush the process – whatever it may be.
12. Continuously work on becoming a better you.
13. Good always triumphs over evil.
14. You are solely responsible for your own happiness. Choose to be happy every day.
15. People will hate you for whatever reason they choose. Don’t let it change your behavior and don’t go low – stay high.
16. You can be the most loyal family member, friend, partner, employee, etc. but it doesn’t guarantee you loyalty in return.
17. Don’t look back (at your past) – you’re not going that way!
And on that note, goodbye 2017. Hello and welcome, 2018!
What are you most looking forward to this year?