One year and 52 posts later

Before we move on to 2019, here are a few meaningful things that we learned this year:

- Meaning is something that we must take time to define for ourselves. And then we must intentionally aim our lives toward what we define as meaningful. 

Purpose is no an accident, it’s a sense that we create and develop within us.

- It's always better to make the wise decision today, than to procrastinate and wait until the repercussions of our poor decisions create enough emotional pain to motivate us tomorrow.

- Having friends is lonely when we're not first friends with ourselves.

-  Trauma and internal wounds are problems not just for the individual, but for the entire community.  

- As often as you can throughout your day, remind yourself that you're stronger than you think you are.  More loved than you feel.  And you're doing a better job in life than you believe.

- Write an annual review in your journal every year.  For the next five years.  It's one of the best investments you can make for your future self every December.

It's a habit that keeps on giving.

- Never underestimate or overlook how much you contribute to your society by simply taking ownership of and confronting the darkness and wounds within you. Because when you heal, we all heal.

- The trap of scrolling through Instagram and Facebook is that it relentlessly reminds you of who you could be instead of reminding you to embrace who you are.  It leads our attention from what we have to what we don't have.  And our mind towards what we could be doing, rather than on enjoying the life we have.

- There's a long alist of socially acceptable things that our society deems as success that don't require any emotional health or spiritual maturity.  Like making money, leading a church, group or business, preaching or giving an inspiring message, having thousands of followers, and being well liked by many.  

"Success" doesn't always mean healthy and free.

- Our compulsive, trigger-like reactions are not reactions to avoid, but rather, guideposts for self-work and discovery that if they are inquired of and handled well, lead to deeper levels of intimacy with ourselves, others, and God. 

- I can't summarize the self-compassion advice that was culminated from our readers in this post.  It's so good that you just need to go back and read it again.  

- Four keys to being a better listener:  be present, humble (accept that you don't know everything), follow your curiosity as you listen to others, and embrace the wonder and beauty that you find in others in the most unlikely of places and conversations. 

-  The times when you don't feel, think, or believe that you deserve to be loved is the times when you need to intentionally show self-compassion to yourself the most.

-  Being “triggered," or compulsive, or tempted do something momentarily relieving that you know will harm you negatively in the long run is an undeniable sign that you’re under some form of distress and discomfort. 

When we’re triggered, tempted, and compulsive, it’s always because our brain wants to escape or find relief from something.

So the immediate question to always ask is...

What from?

-  Boredom is self inflicted pain.  We despise boredom not because of our boring circumstances but because of what we believe being bored says about who we are.  (Ex: We’re worthless, missing out, or wasteful with our time)

-  Trauma is not something that happens to you, it's something that happens inside of you. 

-  And... trauma is sadly normal  in our society. Therefore, if you've experienced adversity, stress, and pain in your upbringing and childhood, it doesn't matter where you go, you are likely not alone in what you experienced.

- Brokenness is not an identity nor a destiny, but it is an inescapable part of living and healing.

-  Emotional wounds don't always originate from something negative that happens to us. Sometimes wounds are the result of something that should have happened but never did.

Ex) The things your father never said or a mother who was emotionally distant and withdrawn.

-  Never underestimate the power in half a second of self-awareness, in taking the time to ponder why you've lost your peace, in connecting with what you're feeling, and to ask yourself why you feel the way you do?