I don’t believe anything is ever “wasted”. I think you NEED to go through some things to even understand what some of this advice is even talking about and you NEED mistakes to learn. You can’t spend your life avoiding pain, discomfort, mistakes etc because that is the real essence of life…all of it. It’s not all going to be all fun and games, sometimes sh*t gets real and that’s what turns children into adults.
With that, I think it’s important to be reminded of some things every so often as a refresher to reset your thoughts. So I personally rename this “19 Things To Remind Yourself About Life.”
1. It is okay to leave anyone and anything and anyplace that makes you feel like shit. It’s hard, but it’s okay. And bump explaining anything to anyone, unless you want to. Let them wonder.
2. Know who you are. Not just on some touchy-feely fuzzy pretty-on-the-inside tip, but knowing who you are racially, culturally, in relationship to your sexuality, gender and your class- is a source of your power. You define that for you. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you who you are. This may change in time, as you grow and learn more. That’s okay. Manage any shame or guilt you may feel through acts of accountability.
3. Be accountable for what you do. This means owning up to how you mess up, just as much as it means owning and defending the contested space you fill. You will mess up, and only you can seek atonement for this. You will need to defend yourself, and rarely will anyone do that work for you. Acknowledging both your mistakes and your rights as equally important.
4. They will call you crazy. You are a woman. There is no way of going through the world in the moment we live in and not get called crazy by someone, often someone you wish would see you as deeply sane. You are not crazy. The world is crazy. If you are affected by this imbalanced, unjust world, it only proves that you are a sentient being with some sense of empathy.
5. Empathy is built. You need to learn to really listen. This means listening without thinking about how it relates to you, or planning the next thing you are going to say. This means seeing everyone, regardless of who they are, as a human being. You cannot really be a human being unless you regard everyone as such, even your greatest nemeses and the gravest perpetrators. All of our damage comes from somewhere. Yours and everyone else’s. Learn to listen to others. Learn to listen to yourself. Empathy cannot exist without really, deeply listening first.
6. You are going to have moments of unbearable pain. It takes time to learn how to heal yourself. And healing sometimes still leaves scars. Healing is sometimes incomplete. Think of your scars as battle-wounds – evidence of how much wiser you are now- maps of where not to return. Cherish these scars and honor them. There will come times when they are the only reminder of where you have been, and how much you still need to grow.
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