My birthday was yesterday. It was my best birthday ever because it was full of some of the greatest things in life. Peace, Love, Happiness and Joy. As I enjoyed my day I reflected on the things I have learned in life. Most of my greatest learning has happened in the past five years. I have learned what each of those four things truly are. Peace is knowing that you have infinite worth because you are a Child of God. It is knowing your worth will never come from what another person says or how much power you have or things you own. Peace is knowing that every human being no matter who they are, deserves dignity, respect and that peace comes from service and compassion for others and for yourself.
Other things I’ve learned in my 41 years are:
1) I don’t know anything. And neither do you. Life is simple, but we complicate it with thinking we know stuff we don’t. Too many people spend their lives trying to convince everyone that they are right or that they are the winner that they miss out on actually having their best life. There is always something new to learn. Listening is often the best way to learn things. If I am talking, I am not learning nearly as much because everything I say is already in my head. If I am listening I may find I learn much more about the person, about life, and about myself.
2) Family and Friends who unconditionally love you will be there for you, never try to tear you down or make you feel bad. They want what is best for you. They want your happiness, and for you to have your best life. Real love isn’t about power or selfishness or getting your own way, it is about support and acceptance and encouragement. It is about seeing the best in someone and loving them unselfishly. It isn’t about what you get is about what you give. It is about listening when needed and giving your heart. It is not about anger it is about understanding. Love is healing, and it is the strongest motivation and greatest blessing in life. It is important to love yourself and those around you. Life is better when you can find something to love about others.
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A Heinlein
3) Beauty has nothing to do with size, shape, or outward appearance. Your beauty or intelligence is not determined by someone else’s opinion. A number on a scale does not add or take away from a person’s worth, or potential. I spent years thinking that I needed to be what others wanted, trying to live up to delusional standards set by individuals who felt so bad about themselves that they have to tear everyone else around them down. People who worry more about their own image than about any decency at all. It is sad that so much energy, time and effort is put into spreading negativity. Life is beautiful. Each and every person on this earth has something beautiful within them.
Happiness doesn’t come from money or power or social status. Happiness comes from knowing life is about compassion, love, peace, happiness and joy. I have learned some things about happiness from some great individuals.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa
“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.”
4) Be Childlike not childish. Be silly just for the fun of it. Remember how to laugh and forget about what others think and just find and spread joy.
“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong.” 0
― M. Williamson
5) Be True to You. Life is stressful enough with the world as it is. Never try to be someone or something you are not. It’s okay to need support or help or to be searching for your path. Life is about finding your own happiness. You can never live your life by someone else’s expectations or happiness will always be beyond your grasp.
6) Be Honest with yourself and others. Life is so much simpler and more peaceful and less stressful when living a life of integrity. It can be a hard lesson learned but an important one. Once living an honest and happy life there is so much less to worry about.
7) Thoughts are the most powerful force we have. Each moment will either be negative or positive depending on your thoughts. It can be hard when around others who are always negative but once you can change your thoughts and realize how much potential each person in this world has. You choose whether that potential is used to spread negative or positive emotions, thoughts and experiences. You can overcome any trial, any heartache and be capable of accomplishing things never thought possible by anyone else, just by changing your thoughts.
8) Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. Life is about finding peace, love, happiness and joy.