December 28th I turned sixty years old and I celebrated my birthday with great fanfare. In February I released the electronic version of my memoir at the basement price of .99.
I’ve been blogging all month on various websites and met many interesting people. Many of them asked what I learned from writing my book. This is my final blog on the tour. I’m going to attempt to summarize my life lessons six points that I’ll call my sexy six.
Don’t ever give-up. So many times in life things do not go our way or what we’re trying to do is difficult. We get discouraged, disillusioned, we lose our motivation, we give out of money, we get sick – there’s no limit to the number of challenging things that happen to us. But one thing is for sure, you never reach the final destination if you give up along the way. It really is true that the most rewarding things in life are the ones you work the hardest to obtain. In my book I talk about the many obstacles I overcame to get where I am today. So many times I wanted to quit, several times I even thought of suicide, and for years I felt I was hanging on by a thread. But I always believed things would get better. No matter how difficult it was I never gave up. Looking back today I would not trade my life with anyone.
Learn to love and accept yourself. You would think this is easy to do but it’s not. Some children grow up in loving homes with a healthy self-esteem, only to get involved in relationships that make them feel inferior and unloved. Children can be cruel. Often they tease their classmates – picking one thing they feel is wrong with them – and continue until they emotionally destroy the other person. Some individuals believe that marriage gives them a license to remake their partners. Often this is connected to abusive behavior – like my first and second marriages – leading to low self-esteem. If you don’t learn to love yourself you don’t have much love to give to others.
Don’t let anyone else define who you are. This is hard, especially if you’re a people pleaser. You might not agree with someone but to keep from hurting their feelings or to be accepted by them, you often compromise and lose your identity. I’m not advocating being selfish or tuning others out but rather learning to listen to your heart and developing your intuition. What is it that you really want to do? Relationships are difficult but all too often they are one sided. You do things you do not want to do for all the wrong reasons. One day you look in the mirror and wonder who you are.
Family is worth fighting for. Much of my book deals with my dysfunctional family. I was excommunicated by my brother the day we buried our father. It took me many years to get over this and work my way back into my family. So many individuals asked why I wanted to do this when I was treated so badly. In the past five years I’ve spoken with many people and so many of them came from broken families. I now believe that you don’t have to like your family but you can love them. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with them but when you do it can be bearable. Friends can become a substitute for your family. Families many times feel they can treat each other badly but you don’t have to allow this. It’s essential that you learn to establish boundaries, especially with your family.
Master the act of forgiveness. Family, relationships and life deals many wrongs to all of us. Often we become bitter, hold grudges and have a tendency to get back at others. Forgiveness is one of life’s hardest lessons. Many times individuals never admit any wrong doing and they might not ask for your forgiveness. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the other person. When you hold on to hate and anger you are not getting even with them. These negative feelings are like poison in your body and leads to all kinds of problems. Forgiveness doesn’t always lead to reconciliation. Sometimes relationships can’t be put back together. Sometimes you have to cut ties with your family or get divorced but as you move on, try to forgive those who’ve wronged you.
Don’t ask why, don’t look back, don’t stress over tomorrow, and learn to embrace change. Its human nature for individuals to struggle with difficult issues and to resist change. When things don’t work out or when bad things happen to us, we want to know why. It’s okay to do some soul searching, ask questions, and analyze situations but you need to put a limit on this. What lessons did you learn? What do you want to do differently the next time? Make changes if you need to. Change leads to growth. You can’t go back and redo things. You may never understand why some things happened. You have to get to the place where you accept it, believe that it was meant to be and that it was part of your journey. All too often we spend so much time looking back that we miss what is happening today. These same principles can be applied to the future. Often we worry excessively over what is going to happen tomorrow when most of those things never come to be. One of the great lessons to living an abundant, contented life is learning how to live in the now. This is so hard to do but mastering this will change your life dramatically.
Several years ago I became a Personal Life Coach because I felt that I could help others deal with some of the issues addressed above. If you’d like more info please check out my web site and if you’d like to know more about my life you can purchase my memoir this month for only .99. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that you are inspired by my sexy six.