I was thinking about life lessons to pass onto my daughter recently and had been getting a bit overwhelmed with the emotion of it all.
I've been poorly this year, and it got me thinking: What if I can't be around for my daughter? Who is going to help her along life's journey? Life is so big and she is so small. I can't profess to have all the answers. I am still learning everyday myself.
I've bottled my thoughts on life lessons down to five that I would like to pass on to my daughter.
1. It's all happening perfectly for your highest good. Whatever happens, you'll handle it
This is my favourite phrase. It is inspired by Susan Jeffers; a mix of two of her affirmations. I often repeat it at night when I can't sleep for thinking. The message here is to trust the universe, trust your intuition and know that whatever life throws at you; you'll be able to deal with it.
- When you are in despair, there is a lesson to be found.
- If we make a mistake, we learn from it.
- When good things happen, you deserve it.
Everything happens for a reason, you just have to trust that it's all happening perfectly for your highest good.
2. You can't control other people's behaviour but you can control how you react to it
Can you imagine how different the world would be if people took a step back, and didn't automatically react to something. Instead of mirroring some bad behaviour, they choose to behave in a way that befits their values; or a way that is more thought through.
It's not always easy to think wisely about something on the spur of the moment. However, afterwards when still reeling with anger at something someone said or did, we can choose how we want to let it affect us.
We can choose our behaviour.
Repeat life lesson one, and move on.
3. Find the joy in each moment, don't wait for that infamous 'one day'
"When you wake up in the morning Pooh" said Piglet at last, "What's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say Piglet?"
"I say, 'I wonder what is going to happen exciting today'" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing" he said.
I'd be surprised if at some point in your life you haven't said, "One day, when I win the lottery, I'm going to...". If you live in the moment and let go of the outcome, the pressure is decreased, and you are free to enjoy life.
Be grateful each day.
Try to find the joy in the small things. Have fun now. Easier said than done; but practice helps. When I'm feeling glum, I try to drag myself out of it by being grateful for small things. I have been known to thank the universe when the traffic lights are all on green and give me a clear run! I'm thankful when it doesn't rain when I'm pushing the buggy into town.
Sometimes acknowledging the small things can help lift your mood.
I still have dreams, and things I would like to have. Like a hot tub, I really want a hot tub. I could find the joy in every day, in the hot tub. But that should not stop me from being grateful for what I have now, and trying to find happiness now.
4. We weren't born to live an isolated existence
Family and friends are important.
Surround yourself with decent human beings. Try to spend time with people who make you happy and return the favour. Real friends and family will love you when you are sad too; remember that.
Pick a partner well. Choose someone with a good heart above all else.The rest is decoration and entertainment.
We are a community based species. You are not expected to be brilliant at everything and to do everything yourself. There's a rich mix of people in the world; each has a special gift. Working together, helping each other, sharing. All these things are important.
Don't be afraid to ask for help, and help others in return.
Don't sit stuck in despair because you don't know how to do something or where to turn. Reach out to someone. Decent humans are naturally wired to want to help other people. And there is so much joy to be found with others and in helping others.
Sharing is caring!
5. Listen and you'll learn
This is a phrase etched in my brain by my Dad. These days, we respectfully take the piss out of him a little bit, mimicking in a deep voice "Listen, and you'll learn, Dad".We have earned the right to say it to him now!
It is true though.
Never underestimate how much you can learn from listening. There is always a phase in life where you don't listen; especially to your parents. But do try, you might learn something. I will say to my daughter, "listen to your Dad", because when I asked him which five life lessons he would pass on, he simply said:
"Be happy, grateful, caring, honest and live healthy". And here I am waffling on.
There are some wise gems to be found in my words, dear daughter, but if you need a quick answer, go to your Dad!
A version of this blog post was originally published on http://www.bottlefor2.com
*Quote in article from the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff