If you’re anything like me, you ponder on where you are in life. You look at where you wanted to be, where you could have been, and even where you should have been.
One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I cannot spend too much time thinking about where I am in life. Why? Well, because if I think too long, I begin to compare my life to the lives of others around me: friends, family, associates. I have dealt with self-esteem issues for most of my life, so sometimes, when my mind is idle (meaning, I’m not keeping myself busy with my work, ministry, or school), I allow the enemy to make me look down on my life. You know that quote, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop?” I can definitely attest to that. Fortunately, I’ve learned my true value, and inevitably am able to *smack* myself back into the reality.
I am only 25, but I’ve seen more than some people twice my age, and less than some people half my age. These life experiences have taught me 5 lessons:
1. My past mistakes don’t own me. Sometimes I dwell on my past. I let bad mistakes make me feel down. I have to remember: the past will never return. You can’t allow what happened in your past take residence in your future. It doesn’t have a right to be there. Every second passed is in the past, so it’s already gone. Therefore, you can only learn from those decisions, and move forward to make better decisions in the present and future.
2. You never know who’s in your camp until they show you (or God himself does). I have run into my fair share of frienemies. I have had people lie on me, lie to me and slander my name. I can be very naïve, so I pray for discernment because I know that if God doesn’t reveal my true friends, I’ll never know until it’s too late. You can’t fault people for being human, but you can also be wise. Snakes shouldn’t keep you from the forest. Wisdom, along with experience, will allow you to see the snake hiding in the grass. It is your decision to go around it, or pick it up.
3. Those who hurt me don’t have the power to control my feelings. This is a favorite! I’ve too often let what people said about me and to me determine how I felt during the day, and even about myself. However, I’ve taken my power back. I live life knowing that people will try to hurt me, but it’s my choice whether I let them do so or not.
4. Just because I have a goal, that doesn’t mean I will reach it. It also doesn’t make me a failure. I have had several goals I just knew I was going to meet by the age of 25. I wanted to have a great career, be done with my Masters degree and living alone. I’d planned to be a traveling spoken word artist, who has completed my book. You know what? I’ve achieved none of that! However, I’ve achieved so much. I might not be where I would like, but my life is a testament of growth, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. The fact that I can look at myself, and see the maturity in my life is more than enough to suffice.
5. I deserve the right to be confident. If God made me in His image, if He made me (as a disciple) a part of His royal Kingdom, why wouldn’t I embrace that? I’m as delicate as a flower, but as strong and fierce as a lioness. It is because of who I am, that I am confident in myself and in my abilities.
If life throws you lemons, make lemonade and a lemon pound cake! Speak joy, confidence, and happiness into your life. Every day I look in the mirror, I tell myself that I am beautiful, even if I don’t feel that I am on that day. Many years ago, I forced myself to look in the mirror, and tell myself how beautiful, how strong, how intelligent, how wise and how great I was. Even though I didn’t believe it in the beginning, I conditioned myself into believing it. So now I don’t just say it because I’m forcing myself to, it’s because I want to remind myself that no matter what anyone says, or the enemy tries to throw my way, I am worth God’s love. There’s nothing more life changing than that!