i got this idea from my friend ceciley, & it got the wheels turning in my brain about the life mantras that i believe in--what are lessons that i've fought hard to learn? what ideas about life resonate with me? what attitudes do i feel strongly about? this has made for some interesting conversations with friends. you can really see into someone's soul by asking them about the life advice they'd give, and life lessons they cling to. i am still so young, but i feel like i've done a fair amount of changing and learning in these 23 years. i am really grateful for these lessons, and the ways in which they shape my behavior. so, here are a couple of them:
PASSION IS EVERYTHING.
i feel like passion gives life that extra 'pizzaz' that it needs. feeling passionate is parallel to feeling alive--so find those things that make you excited and go after them! living a life that's passion-less might be fine & mediocre, but everyone wants a little extra umph, right? work hard and go for whatever it is that you love. passion is my favorite word, and it's my favorite quality in myself & others.
JUST BE OBEDIENT TO GOD.
you are not obligated to be obedient to anybody else--in fact, you should break all the other rules. :) but when it comes to god & his church, he is at the head. he knows the end from the beginning. he knows whats best. i have found a lot of peace in setting my own agenda and opinions aside, and just being obedient to his word. the blessings from this outweigh the ego-trip of doing it your own way. i am so far from perfect, but i have a desire to be simply obedient.
ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS LOVE.
we are only responsible for the way we treat others, not the other way around. people just need to be listened to and cared about and hugged! i have found that the attempt to love another person is always successful, if you really try. make people feel good about themselves. love with fierceness and loyalty. it feels so, so good.
KINDNESS, KINDNESS, KINDNESS.
i have been lucky & haven't experienced a lot of conflict in my life, but when i have--i've learned it's better to just suck it up & be kind. you know the analogy of shaving cream? it's reeeeal easy to pour out but impossible to stick back in? our words are just like that--& i never regret apologizing instead of fighting. i don't care if you're wrong, you're right, you're crazy, you're smart, you're an alien--be kind. i am learning to be kind to people who are unkind to me, and trying to treat them as christ would.
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE.
this is one i have to re-teach myself a lot. i am more than my circumstances, and although it seems harder to be positive when everything is working against you--it's not. we chose every morning, happy or miserable? what do you want? it's that simple.
HONESTY & OWNING UP TO YOUR MISTAKES.
i could have saved myself so much grief in high school if i had learned this one a little earlier! everyone screws up, but being upfront about it helps you learn. people really value honesty, and it feels good to just be real with others & yourself. it helps you see the reality of your flaws--instead of justifying them or covering them up. without that candid-ness, it's impossible to move forward.
TAKE TIME TO PONDER.
don't rush into decisions. figure out how you feel, what you want, & be true to that. let the spirit talk to you. explore the cavities of your mind--let it wander. be a thinker. have original thought.
PEOPLE ARE GOOD.
it's easy to conclude that they are not, but there is good in everyone. look for it, magnify it, draw it out, celebrate it. mankind, as a whole, is so wonderful & there is so much to be learned from every person you come across.