The last two years have been impactful years for all of us. COVID-19, an unforeseen pandemic, has caused so much heartache, uncertainty, and imbalance with so many changes and challenges. From March of 2019 until today, March 2022, life has been a big lesson in self-growth, boundaries, priorities, mental health, and putting myself first. It certainly wasn’t always easy. There has been heartbreak, disappointment, sadness, but it was worth it because I’m more myself now than I’ve ever been—a revelation of finding true love, forgiveness, acceptance of myself. I learned many more life lessons than four things, but these are the top life lessons that have impacted me.
1. Being Present
Working in communications, operations, and managing community ministries created an unhealthy obsession with serving and saving the world. This distraction created an obsession with being available to my job duties more than the time required; always saying “yes” caused me to bring work home. Disconnecting from the digital world and my job duties were crucial to my mental health and my relationships with my fiance and family. Putting my phone down when I don’t need it and not always grabbing my laptop allowed me to take in my surroundings is such a breath of fresh air. Being present allowed me to learn that the world would continue even if I were unavailable.
Yes, I am not a fan of sweating and washing my hair daily after a good workout. Having a Peloton and Tonal in the gym room, my fiance created a few steps away, has not made me enthusiastic about working out. I’m in my early 40s, getting married in a few months, and having had two major surgeries in the last few years, I decided to be strong and healthy. Since I changed the way I think about working out this time around, I noticed I have more energy and am happier. I’ve never experienced this from exercise before, but now it improves my whole day even though I might feel a bit achy with new movements.
3. Control of the Little Things
As a young girl, being in control, independent, and never relying on anyone has been impeded into my soul by my parents. I have been someone who has never liked to ask for help. I learned to give myself allowances and release control of the little things. I have learned that it is ok to let others do things for themselves and even me! I understand the importance of delegating and that asking for help is not a weakness in turn, I have more energy to devote to the bigger things in my life. It has been challenging, but I have grown to let go of little things even if they are not my way or are not perfect.
Focusing on my priorities helps me make the changes that improve my life. Having control and trying to manage everything under the sun was not healthy. At this moment, it’s more critical for me to feel settled and comfortable in my own space of where I am in my life, concentrating on the small things, the priorities that make me happy and at peace. Priorities are different for everyone; it can be work-related, concentrating on personal relationships, exercising, working on finances, self-help, reading more, etc. I noticed that when I made changes to honor my needs, things started to shift positively and a sense of peace and happiness melted my heart.
The world has gone through so much in the last two years. What have you learned in the last two years about yourself?