We’ve had a long, crazy year filled with ups and plenty of downs, and after all of the brand new trials and tribulations of 2011, I’m finally starting to see what they mean what saying “everything happens for a reason.”
Of all the difficult trials and tribulations we experienced this past year, we’re proud to reflect and feel stronger, more mature, and a bit wiser.
Here are what we feel to be our Top 5 life lessons we learned in 2011. Maybe they’ll be of some insight for you.
1. What it really means to “Love Yourself."
At one point or another in our lives we’ve all heard the expression "love yourself.” But what does that really mean?
For the longest time this simple, seemingly self-explanitory expression never really meant much to me. I mean, sure I’ve always loved myself, but after paying close attention to the wise words of madam Oprah Winfrey, I really got to thinking about this one...
Turns out there’s a lot more to it than we thought.
You see, loving yourself isn’t just saying, “I’m ok with me as I am.” You have to feel it. It’s looking at yourself in the mirror, excepting your flaws and differences as they are and being ok with who you are as an individual, verses you against the world.
The first step in loving yourself is to stop focusing so hard on the differences between you and everyone you encounter. Hollywood celebrity comparisons is an area to avoid especially. After all, they pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to appear perfected... they’re not just God’s favorite children.
The more we compare ourselves to others, the more we are going to feel invalid and less than. After all, that is where the focus is being placed... on the negative.
Let’s face it, people are always going to be different from one another so to compare yourself to the “skinny girl” at your office (for example), you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment and self-hatred. Be realistic with yourself. It’s ok if you never look like “that girl,” but don’t beat yourself up over it.
Sometimes genetic differences keep us from getting to the “skinny girls” size and other times it’s just lack of self discipline, but beating yourself up for your differences is completely pointless, counter productive and will just leave you miserable, sitting in a dark sea of self hatred.
I mean, sure, you can strive to lose weight like your skinny role model, but don’t make it a comparison goal. Make it about self achievement and you’ll be a lot more motivated and less miserable.
The sooner you can tune out your differences from others, the sooner you can focus on your own happiness, applying that energy on being the best you you can be.
2. Dating when you know you’re lost.
For a majority of this past year we dated up a storm. It was our 25th year of life so of course being in our prime we justified serial dating sprees, turning over every man-stone we could find. The problem? We were lost mentally and emotionally, so to try and match a lost sense of self with someone “right” just wasn’t going to happen. I had to make me right before I could find Mr. Right.
Dating while feeling completely lost inside only set ourself up for disappointment, disappointment, disappointment.
In order to successfully date in hopes of a positive outcome, you have to know you first. Focus on you before you focus on someone else.
3. You can’t find yourself in someone else.
Part of the dating spree we expereinced in 2011 made us realize one big factor: YOU CAN’T FIND YOURSELF IN SOMEONE ELSE.
The more we searched for our "other half” (before searching ourself) the less changes we had of finding that other half.
Remember, we’re creatures that see and feel energy, positive and negative. If you’re feeling desperate and eager, you’re going to come off that way and no one wants to date the desperate one.
A good way to help yourself with this one is to think about what you find attractive in someone else’s persaonlity. I mean, who doesn’t love confidence and self assurance in their significant other half? It’s calming, reassuring and sexy. Find you, then find them.
It’s part of nature for humans (even some animals) to experience the dark, bitter feeling of lonliness.
Think about the last time you felt lonely. Then think about anyone else you may have known in your life who ever said they too felt lonely at times.
A big thing we realized in 2011 when experiencing extreme lows and loneliness (even with people around), was that we all as human beings experience lonliness at some point in our life. It’s completely natural. We just have to remember that we’re not alone and that our neighbors, friends and family members have all experienced that same dark low at some point in their life. It’s all part of the human experience.
Occupy your mind with hopeful, positive thoughts and allow that to motivate you into doing something about it.
5. Human insecurities are a LOT more common than you think.
I hate my hair, my thighs are huge, my nose is enormous. These are just a few of the many many insecurities humans suffer from in their daily lives. Of course when it’s us, all we focus on are our own self-hatred thoughts that most people don’t always notice. You are your own worst critic.
and Sophia Vegara. Believe it or not, celebrities have their own insecurities, too. In fact, being under a daily microscope makes it even hard for celebrities to meet expectation that we as everyday folks don’t have to face.
Of course appearance is just the tip of the ice berg when digging into the topic of human insecurities. People suffer from all kinds of insecurities: money, jobs, social status, designer clothing, zip codes, etc. etc.
This brings us back to the part about blocking everyone else out and looking ahead on your own path. Sure we can stare at the people next to us and compare ourselves to them all day long but where does that get you? Depressed and miserable. Look forward. Block out thoughts of every other thing you “don’t have” and paint your own picture with the colors you do have.
Keep learning for those life lessons, friends. Remember to focus on you and stop comparing yourself to everything you see and want. Then you’ll be a lot better off. :)