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14 Things I Learned in 2014

2014.  10872944_10202435442482000_4495132292543056277_oWhat a year.

I’ve learned soooo much.  About myself, about other people, about God.

I realized today that I haven’t written a blogpost since late March of this year.  Quite a lot has happened since then, and my life is very different than it was at that time. I’ve grown a year older,  30 lbs lighter (INSERT CARTWHEEL HERE!), am in school, working full-time, establishing a business, and a multitude of other things one day I’ll share with you all.  I’m strongly considering writing a book. Stay tuned. 🙂

That being said, I want to share with you 14 of the most important things I learned in 2014.  I hope they are as educational and eye-opening for you as they were for me.

1. Every day is a new day to be better, make better choices, and love others more intentionally.  Start with one day at a time, and pretty soon those days will turn into months, those months into years, and those years will be your life.

2. To thine own self be true….Shakespeare said it long ago and it still holds true.  And if that self is a wretched mess, then that is OK!  (As long as you are actively working on being better!) But only in being yourself and allowing others to see you as yourself can you CHANGE that self if it’s not who you want to be.  Knowing who you are allows others to love you fully while holding you accountable to be better, and allowing you in turn to be more completely satisfied in your relationships with others.

3. Fear is a one-way street to regret. Period.

4. God is the only One who can complete you.  If you look for that anywhere else you will be sorely disappointed.

5. Don’t take anything for granted.  Your greatest treasures will easily become memories if you forget their value.

6. Don’t let hurt change who you are.  You may be deeply hurt by someone or something.  But the essence of overcoming is in not letting it change who you are–especially if who you are is great.  Only become wiser, more patient, more loving, more accepting.

7. Loving deeply is not a character flaw.  Definitely something I had to come to terms with!

8. Surround yourself with people who will make you better.  Surround yourself with people who will challenge you and confront you in love when you may be wrong. These are those who truly care for and respect you. You are, or will become the people you surround yourself with.  Therefore, spending great lengths of time with someone whose actions you don’t want to become your own is not advisable–unless you and Jesus are BFFs.  Like, FOR REAL.  And even Jesus spent a good deal of His time in prayer.

9. Supportive friends and family are ESSENTIAL to psychological well-being.  You may not be able to change your family, but you can change you.  You also have control over who your closest associates are.  Surround yourself with people who actively show you and tell you that they care.  All others who are not truly about it will eventually drift away.

10. Make time for the people first, and then the things that are important to you.  No matter what happens in this world, the most valuable asset you will ever have is your time, and in giving it to those who matter to you you are actively saying “here’s a piece of me that I will never get back…but I care enough to give it to you.”

11. Your Mindset Shapes Your Life.  Your mindset will determine your perspective; your perspective will determine how you deal with every situation, and how you deal with every situation will determine your life’s trajectory.

12. There is NOTHING in this world that God cannot restore.  He can repair any situation, any broken heart, any familial disparity, and can heal any illness.  It is only a matter of His time and His method.  His ways are not our ways but He cares for us deeper than can be fathomed by human perception.

13. I am beautiful.  I am worth it.  I am talented.  I deserve good things and to be treated well.  Anyone or anything that is not a promoter or supporter of the aforementioned does not have my best interest at heart and does not truly love or care about me.  This was the hardest thing to learn.  But in the end it was the most gratifying/freeing concept.  The best feeling in the world is being able to look around a room at people (or even just a few persons) and know that those people truly care.  Not just when it’s fun, or when you’re easy to be around, but through everything.  FIND THESE PEOPLE!! Everyone deserves love and acceptance, not just because it’s the thing to do, but because we are all sons and daughters of God.

14. God is love.  He always has our best interest at heart.  Honestly this was a struggle for me this year.  But I have come to realize that even in enduring trials it is a selfish thought to think that every trial or even blessing is just for my own benefit.  It may also be for the benefit of those around me as well.  In the end, trusting God through everything evokes a peace that nothing can take away, and that is what I choose to carry with me in the new year.

#Progress2014 was the hashtag for this year.  And despite a few setbacks here and there I truly did progress this year.  I am looking forward to all of the great things the new year will offer!

May we all be more intentional, better friends, and just better people overall in 2015.  Much love to you all and be safe!

-AB

P.S.  Stay tuned for the new year hashtag release via Instagram at midnight! 😀

Feel free to share with me what you learned in 2014 in the comment section below!! And stay tuned for a great year ahead with Into The August Red. 😀

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