When reflecting on my life, I do wish I did these things a lot earlier.
Six Things I Wish I Did More Of, Now That I’m a Lot Older
It’s normal to feel twinges of regret when it comes to the shape your life has taken.
Some moments I believe that perhaps I was in a trance, so engrossed in my dreams, wishes and desires, that I didn’t step back to see if this was what I wanted.
Do you sometimes feel that your mind is pulling you in one direction but your heart in another?
That’s because we are not aligned with our higher purpose — and being lead by logic — or what we believe to be the right thing.
The only way we can determine what our heart space wants is to stop and pause for a moment. Maybe it will take 30 minutes, one hour or a couple of days. But, if you don’t stop to allow the inner voice to speak, how will you ever know which direction will lead to happiness and fulfilment?
A great analogy is this.
Say you have a glass of cold-pressed orange juice. When you pour the liquid into a glass bottle, it looks like cloudy orange juice. But once you allow it to settle, the difference between the fluid & the pulp starts to become apparent.
This is what happens when we stop and allow ourselves to have space. The separation of endless noise clouding what we really want starts to distinguish itself — within the silence.
Here are some things I’ve come up with during my period on planet earth so far.
One: Being strong enough to say no more often.
I still struggle a lot with this one.
There may be certain times in your life when you feel like all you have given is never enough.
Then, of course, there is a little bit for work, family, children and friends. But, if there isn’t enough in your well of goodness, how can you still give love to everything necessary in your life.?
The only way to fill the well is to say no.
That little bit of NO will go a long way, allowing time and space to do something just for you. If we don’t nurture our own need for replenishing energy and vitality, then it seems we don’t think highly enough of the most important person in the world — us.
Two: Not being available for everyone — but always having availability for your needs.
Most women (mothers in particular) get stuck thinking and doing everything for their families.
“Mum, I’m hungry.”
“Where are my socks?”
“Can you make me a snack,”
And the list goes on and on.
Heaven forbid that we say, “I can’t right now, but feel free to go grab something.”
It’s easier said than done. I know this for a fact.
Surprising truth: There are no mobile phones in the afterlife, so no one can call to ask where the food is.
Get everyone in your inner circle to attempt things themselves. How can they start to grow that self-sufficiency muscle without some practice? How about they do something for you instead? Wishful thinking, but it’s worth a try with your kids (or colleagues).
Three: Eliminating guilt by realising it and then taking steps to make the future better.
I experience a mountain of responsibility when it comes to the people I love.
No doubt we all do, especially when we think about all the things we did or didn’t do.
It’s an endless cycle of guilt and dread that starts in the pit of our stomachs.
I will admit, I look at what other parents have done and realised that I did a pretty shit one in comparison.
But the challenge is that no child is alike, and we don’t often have the luxury of children coming with a growth and comfort manual. I had a pretty hard time growing her up — as she was one of those non-sleepers and criers. You know when there is nothing you can do to help them. Then, of course, this brings on depression, anxiety and separation from your child.
A chill flows down my spine when I think about those moments. I know I could have been better; I didn’t know how to.
But, because we cannot turn back time, forever moving in motion forward, I take those situations which hurt me immensely — ask God for forgiveness as well as asking myself for a bit of forgiveness too.
With that, I make an effort to do better, be better and have more nurturing moments with my daughter.
As hard as it is at times, the thing we should be proud of is trying. And that stems from our learnings of the past.
All parents feel guilty — even if they’ve done a fantastic job. We never think it’s good enough.
Four: Spending more time with the people that matter the most.
There is never a right time to do anything.
I discovered this the hard way.
We all have to work, prepare dinner, look after our families and try to keep sane. All those silly tasks turn to dust when we lose a loved one.
I know this better than ever, now that my mum is dying from cancer.
I wished I had spent more time with her before the illness took over. Those are the moments we will treasure — everything else can wait. It’s not that important.
Five: Spending Time for Self reflection.
As a young person, I didn’t even spend 10 minutes thinking about what I wanted. Instead, I accepted what was given to me as if it was my destiny.
I never realised that I was in charge, and if I wanted something, I would have to grab it by the horns and pull it towards me.
Self-reflection is a precious time to go into your soul and ask infinite intelligence for guidance on a challenge we are having.
It’s also a great time to become your own best friend here too.
Our gut instinct talks to us all the time, but we tend to torture ourselves.
It’s always the result of not wanting to hear anything hurtful.
As long as you realise that your inner voice is there to protect and guide you, you will always find happiness and peace no matter how painful the words may be.
Six: Not allowing people to get away with treating you poorly.
Hands up, how many of you accepted mistreatment from there?
Maybe it was domestic abuse, harassment at work or perhaps a family member. Naturally, these people will try to blame you or, worse- use threatening language.
Every human being deserves treatment with dignity and respect.
If you do not experience this from the people around you — don’t let others get away with it.
If you do, who knows how many other people may be affected by the same person.
Enhance your courage by speaking up and fighting for your rights as any human being would. Speak to someone in charge, a counsellor or even your doctor. Remember that their behaviour is a reflection of the hurt they have inside. It’s not personal — but you don’t have to take it in any way. Have compassion — this person must be hurting.
Somehow I feel that a list of 6 isn’t enough.
The school of hard knocks is happening to us all the time, and when we don’t listen, it knocks us over.
You may have experienced some devastating blows — but the seed of an equivalent benefit is the growth and learnings you can take from it — as hard as it is hearing this right now — especially if you’ve been through a lot.
From my own experience as an older woman now, I can say that we have a choice. That choice is to allow our life experiences to shape the future we move towards — take that knowledge and make our world a lot better each time.