It’s Christmas! I don’t know about you guys but I love this time of year. In the C’ house I have all my family around me; brother numero dos is busying himself in the kitchen preparing lunch, Christmas movies play in the background as my other two brothers sit and demolish one mince pie after another and there I am – bang in the middle of it all.
The festivity that this time of year brings means that I’m happier than usual and am gracing everyone with my oh-so- (not really) -amazing singing (which no one quite asked for but they’re going to be blessed with either way 😂).
Whilst I’m in jolly spirits, and what with only a few more days remaining in 2017, I thought that now would be the perfect time to take a look back at the year and share with my readers the top three lessons that I’ve taken away from 2017.
1. Surround yourself with the right people
One of the biggest lessons that I’ve taken away from 2017 is the importance in surrounding myself with the right people. It’s something that I used to underestimate and it explains why much of my 2016 was filled with unnecessary stress.
While it may sometimes be difficult to cut out people who have been in your life for a long time and with whom you’ve shared a lot of memories, part of growing up means that you will outgrow people. It means that you might find you no longer hold the same ideals as those around you, or that you see things in a different light. And that’s not a bad thing.
As opposed to clashing over a difference of opinion, I’ve found that sometimes it’s best to just distance yourself from people’s negativity.
I don’t think there is a metric for how you’d go about measuring the ‘right’ in people but I usually know that I’ve found ‘my people’ when I feel at ease around them and not judged. They’re open-minded, accepting individuals who aren’t uptight and with whom you can banter.
In surrounding myself with the right people, I’ve managed to oust the negativity in my life, which has made things on a day-to-day basis so much easier and made life, overall, so much more enjoyable.
I can’t quite articulate the importance of this next one. So much can come from the power of manifestation – with the right belief in one’s ability to manifest, you can literally speak things into existence.
Manifesting is a process though, and an empowering one at that. It means one must speak to themselves kindly, envision the future positively and be patient and trust that provided they put the work in, little by little, they’ll get closer to their end goal/vision.
3. Be kind
This one’s simple enough but I feel that it’s something that we tend to overlook. As I’ve matured throughout the year, I’ve really come to value kindness. In my opinion, it’s something that distinguishes in a person a different type of beauty. (I’m reading this back and it’s sounding borderline cringey/like bs) but it’s true.
At the end of the day, everyone, at some point or the other, goes through some shit. And more often than not, it’s not going to be that in-your-face-“hey-I’m-going-through-some-shit” type of shit. So be kind.
More than anything though, this year has taught me the importance of being kind to myself first and foremost.
I read something the other day along the lines of: “if someone spoke to you the way that you speak to yourself, would you keep them around you?”. It is the little voice in our own minds, the ones that we use to speak to ourselves on a daily basis, that are the most important. So it makes sense really to be conscious of how we are speaking to ourselves.
As someone who can, at times, be her own worst critic, it’s taken me a good while to unlearn some of the ‘less helpful’, shall we say, ways that I would speak to myself. But I’ve seen what a difference treating yourself kindly, can do. And boy, what a difference that is.
Some of the experiences I’ve been through this year and the people that I have met have helped me think a bit more about the wider picture. In truth, more than anything, (as cliché and corny as this may sound), my goal in life is to just be warm – I want to be as loving and as kind as I can possibly be.
Khaled Hosseini, (my favourite author of all time) puts it best:
“I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah, I wish I was not good to that person. You will never think that.”