The thing about life is that we never stop growing and learning, in the same way, we must continually unlearn some things. Most people grow up with preconceived notions about different things and sometimes these beliefs and notions works well for us. However, I have come to learn that there are many things that we need to unlearn if we want to move forward in the right direction.
1. “You shouldn’t let the world see your weakness or your struggles.”
I am still gradually unlearning this particular lesson, and believe me, it’s not easy. There is a very common saying that one must not wash his or her dirty linen in public. Maybe there are instances when we should, but there are definitely a lot of others where we shouldn’t. I guess that will depend on how dirty the linen is, on the kind of public you have and on why you might choose to wash it in public…
There was a point in my life when all I showed the world were the good stuff. The victories. I only cried at night, when no one could see me. Most people seem to have the insane idea that I had the perfect life. The smile that was permanently on my face convinced some that I had things easy. I was supposed to be the super woman who could deal with everything and people expressed disappointment and even hurt when they felt that I was not being that super a woman.
But now, I have learnt that when we keep our struggles to ourselves, we don’t give people a chance to relate to us. On the other hand, when we choose to share, we give ourselves an opportunity to learn from others, connect to them and allow them to learn from us. So, now as I unlearn this lesson, I allow myself to cry my tears when and where they come, I cry as I find healing and comfort and I cry as I share my testimonies, because I am not a super woman, and I have learnt that it is ok not be. Your tears can inspire many. The shameful or hurtful story you may choose to share might just be what someone needs to understand that there is hope and light and peace, no matter how dark the path might seem.
2. “You should care about what others think!”
On the one hand, I would say, “No, you really shouldn’t. In fact, you must not. And there’s nothing more to say”.
But, on the other hand, I might say, it depends on who “others” are…
3. “You shouldn’t let people who love you down.”
This is one of the life lessons I considered very noble, and which I have followed far too religiously. So, when I say don’t do it, I’m actually just trying to save you some needless trouble. You can thank me later for reducing your stress level.
Understand and accept that it’s ok to let people down. It is one of those things that happens in life. There are times when it’s better to just say “no” than to accept to do something that you don’t really want. Chances are most people will forget what you did for them, some will not appreciate your efforts and you might find yourself feeling bad and even hating them for that. And there are no blessings in that.
Trying to please everyone is just not worth it. If you live in the real world, like me, you will find that the more you try to please some people, the more they will take you for granted and ceaselessly make demands on you again and again. So, keep it real. with yourself and with everyone else in your life.
4. “Don’t be selfish.”
If you are like me, you grew up with many strong Christian values and doctrines. One of them is to always put other people before yourself. It was drummed into me that selfishness is a terrible thing. And, when done wrongly, it is. However, there are a million and one reasons why you must sometimes put yourself first. The most important one being that if you are not ok, you can’t give much to anyone else. So, selfishly take care of your self first because that’s the only way you can be able to bless the world around you.
5. “Pride is bad and humility is good.”
Pride is not always bad and humility is sometimes used as an excuse for not standing up for yourself. Be proud of yourself, what you do and your achievements and do not apologise for that. Keep humility in your heart to help you aspire to greater height and to keep you patient with the ones who are yet to be blessed as you are. Find a balance.
6. “Always prepare for the worst.”
And hope for the best, right? Wrong. Ever heard of the word “paranoia?” While bad things might happen, assuming that they will only makes you fear the future and prevents you from taking risks of any kind. even when a rational mind would see that there are many benefits to be reaped from such leaps of faith. Now, imagine you could get rid of that mindset as well as the accompanying unnecessary “everything is going to go wrong” fear, and live in a state of constant peace of mind. Sound nice, huh? Think “Pronia”.
7. “Problems are bad.”
Real problems are wonderful, each carrying the seeds of its own solution. Job burnout? It’s steering you toward your perfect career. An awful relationship? It’s teaching you what love means. Finding the solution to each problem is what gives life its gusto. So quit complaining about your problems and embrace them for they will bring out the best you don’t know you have in you.
8. “Money is the root of all evil.”
If you want to quote the Bible, please do it well. The Holy Book says, “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”, It also says that money answereth all. My Mum insists that you’ll be alright once you understand money is a great servant and a terrible master. Relate to money as you would your servant, put it to work and both you and the rest of the world will be happy, and if you ask me, money will be glad to work for you.
Can you add to this list? What lessons have you had to let go off?