Every single one of us gets many lessons and opportunities to grow in every single lifetime. Each of these propels us forward in our spiritual and physical evolution. And while I believe that everything happens for a reason, and at just the right time, one cannot help sometimes to think how much different, and easier life may have been if we only knew certain things earlier on. When you look at the people around you or your own life, what do you normally see? Is there joy, passion, happiness, a zest for life, and balanced flow? Or, is there uncertainty, regrets, indecisiveness, drama, and pain?
As we grow through life, we often learn many things the “hard way”. The resulting consequence is a life that many describe as “hard”, or “challenging”, or even “painful”. But what if there is an easier, a better way? What if it does not have to be difficult at all? The truth is that it doesn’t. It all depends on how consciously we go through life and with how much resistance.
Of course, hindsight is gold. If we only knew so much of what we know now, back then. Back then when this or that happened, that would have enabled us to act in a more favorable way to enhance our well-being, while decreasing our suffering. While we cannot undo what has been done, we can do two things that can improve how we react in future outcomes. First is as always, approaching each situation with the highest possible for us at any time level of awareness so that we are not quick to react, but act consciously. And secondly, we should learn from others. There are many things we can prevent ourselves from doing, or do better by learning what worked and what didn’t for others.
To help you based on my personal experience, I will share with you a rather compact list of things that I would have loved to have known earlier in my life. While I live with no regrets, I know that it can be very valuable to do reflective introspection that can lead us to more expanded states of consciousness. At the same time, we can help others perhaps gain insight from our lessons and experiences to use in their own lives. In the end, of course, each being will do what is right for them at any given time, but it never hurts to spread inspiration that may just make the world of difference to someone’s life.
1. Be yourself
Sure people tell us this, but does it really sink in when we are young? I often find that it is easier for people to be anyone else, but themselves. In fact, in many ways, our society promotes that. We tend to fit to our situations, instead of having our situations fit to us. And boy, how many negative things could be spared, saved, and avoided if we were only ourselves, to begin with. We would have a much better chance of attracting the right mates, the right jobs, the right friends, etc. But as long as we choose to be someone we are not, we can never be truly happy. So don’t wait to share with the world who you really are and continue to grow to become the best that you can be.
2. Don’t worry about what others think of you
As teens, it seems to matter what everyone thinks of us, especially our friends. Throughout our lives, this does not necessarily go away for most of us. We care what our parents think of us (for some right into their ripe old age), our co-workers, our friends, partners, etc. But as most of us know – this can be both draining and like chasing our own tail. We cannot ever make everyone around us happy – and the truth is, we shouldn’t. Each person has to find their own inner happiness. We need to be allowed to be who we are. This goes back to point number one. Because my thinking and lifestyle are so different from the mainstream, I had a choice – be myself regardless of what others think, or stop being myself to fit in and make others comfortable. I think you know what I chose. It feels so good to be at a point in my life where I know who I am and my confidence allows me to be “me” without adjusting myself to fit in with others.
3. Nothing is the end of the world
Thinking back to my teen years especially, I think “wow, did any little upset ever feel like the end of the world!” A boyfriend break-up, parents being mad, a lower grade than expected, and on and on the list goes. Each of these events could have easily brought on tears, pain, fear, and anguish about the future.
Today, I know that life is far from serious and that nothing is the end of the world. Everything is just an opportunity to declare who we are, to grow, to expand, and to love. No matter if a house burns down, or we lose all our money. No matter what – things always work out when we approach them with a calm mind, a conscious state of being, and faith in the abundant and loving Universe. We can get through so much more than we realize. And even those events that seem to not work out, are part of the perfection of it all and part of a much bigger purpose than we may be able to understand at the given time.
4. Unconditional love is true love
In our society, the word love gets thrown around like the word walk. There is just one big difference. As soon as we are about 2 years old, we have a clear understanding of what walk is, and yet some of us at 90 years old still are not sure what love is. It would have been awesome, to earlier in my life, be able to decipher between selfish love, possessive love, desperate love, guilty love, and the list goes on and on. Today I know that true love has no strings attached – no expectations – no conditions. Whether it is between parent and child, lovers or friends true love can exist. It is called unconditional love and it is who we truly are when we remove the rest.
5. Life need not be hard
Too often, and by too many, for most of our lives we hear that life is hard. Well, I like many others believed it. Until one day I didn’t. Life is only as hard as we make it. Every thought, every choice, and every action dictates how easy or hard anything will be. In the end, it is all relative. It is all our choice. Had I known earlier that life need not be a struggle, many more things would have gone much more smoothly and with much more happiness along the way.
So today, I get to experience every moment and finally stop judging each one as hard or easy. Life just is.
6. My thoughts are not always my own
Once I learned about the Ego and mental conditioning, it was like the lights got turned on and so much made sense. I owe so much of this to the work of Eckhart Tolle whose material was the greatest teacher for me about the Ego and the Pain-body. Once I learned about both, I could identify them within me and stop living out of them. Being a conscious observer of my thoughts, it is delightful today to live the majority of each day from my conscious higher self, and less and less from the fear-based ego-self.
7. Heaven is not up in the clouds
To finish, one of the most powerful lessons I have learned in my life and wish I knew earlier was that Heaven is not some magical, mystical place in the clouds – but a state of being. It is possible to remove the pain. It is possible to feel salvation here and now. It is possible to live out our highest selves. It is all possible. We simply need to wake up, remember who we truly are, and Be. Life can be and is beautiful. We need not wait for Heaven when we die. We can die to our false selves any time and experience the beauty, the joy, the peace, and love of Heaven right within ourselves, and give others around us a glimpse of inspiration that they too can be there right now.
In the end, as I mentioned before, I know that everything in my life, just as in yours had to unfold as perfectly as it did to bring us all to the place we are right now. And as much as I know I can name many, many more things that it would have been nice to know earlier, it is all in the learning of them that we become who we are. At the same time though, it never hurts to learn through other’s paths – or mistakes as some may call them.