24 things I’ve learned by 24

These are in no particular order, but of course the first one I thought of was the one that follows- #1)

1. When you stress about the future, you only cause yourself more harm than good.

As a Christian, I’m called to trust in God when I can’t see tomorrow. Yet, in high school and recently (the past year, 2018) when I had to make a big life change, and figure out what I’m going to do with my life… I stressed wayyyy too much…beyond what I should have. The stress would interfere in my every day life. I couldn’t even have a conversation with anyone because all I would talk about was centered on what was stressing me out. How did I realize it was that bad? I didn’t. I had to overcome it, each day by reminding myself, “this isn’t the end of the world. I will figure things out.” It may sound dramatic but I even found myself saying to myself, “this isn’t life or death.” Because that’s how bad I was causing myself stress and worry… over things I was never meant to control. We can only try out best in lie. We can only plan our lives so much… to the point that we’re going to have to step back and put it all in perspective, ultimately reminding ourselves God is in control and He wants what’s best for us.

2. There is no time limit in life.

For some reason, I spent way to many years of my life (since 2013, so probably like 6-7 years) putting all this pressure on myself to get to “the next step/ next chapter”. Not only did that pressure to “continue my life” or “get my life started” cause me extreme stress but it also made me miss out on opportunities and chapters in my life I’ll never be able to go back to. It does not matter if you don’t fit the typical “American standard” of graduating high school and going straight on to a university to earn a 4 year degree. Life is about living- not about accomplishing. So often we are told differently- but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Because one day when I stand before Christ- He’s not going to ask me when I completed college or how long it took me to “have a career”. He’s going to ask me- How did I treat others? How did I love those that were the least of me? That’s what matters. On the other hand- yes, I do believe God doesn’t want His children to live a life of poverty or slavery (I.e. being addicted to something). I believe He wants to us- I’m just trying to say that- there is no time limit on life. Live your life every day taking steps towards your goals. Not putting all this pressure on yourself to accomplish your goals- because you will… in time.

3. My life doesn’t have to look like “theirs”. My life is my own journey.

This is probably one the biggest truths the enemy threw at me and caused me to believe the opposite. Believing the opposite of this truth- that my life should like theirs- caused me to believe other lies- such as, the opposite of number 1&2 above. Getting to the point where I finally believed this truth- that my life doesn’t have to look like theirs… has a lot to do I think- with getting rid of things that were making me compare my life (I.e social media). Social media isn’t reality and it never real be. If you ask me- it’s a filtered reality of someone’s life in the best possible way. And my life and your life? It’s not filtered. It’s not perfect. And that’s okay. Your life is your own. Your journey is your own and it’s special and unique- so own it. Be proud of it instead of believing the lie that it’s not enough or good enough. Your life is beautiful.

4. Social media can be for good but ultimately it’s a black hole- you can never win.

In the beginning of my writing journey, after 2 years of having blog.. I decided I could create an Instagram for my writing. Long story short, over the course of a few years, I created and deleted many Instagram accounts for my writing. I have to create one again. I used to think I could use it for good- and I was. But it was using me for good. I still found myself comparing and feeling like my words weren’t enough due to the fact that others had more of an “audience”. I’m not sure how others got out of it but I found myself needing to step away and it’s been great. Maybe I’ll come back someday but I don’t know. I wonder if the hashtags lead to a black hole. Because the makers of social media- did the really intend it for connection or has society twisted it and is secretly using it for things that would make God cry (I.e child pornographers, porn, sex trafficking, identity theft, etc)?

5. Those who are meant to be in your life will always be there- whether you have social media or not.

This is something I’ve come to believe is true. Those who love you and care about you- will never truly leave. In this day and age- there’s so many ways of connecting- email, phone call, FaceTime, etc. You don’t really need to have social media to keep your connections.

6. Authentic relationships take time- those that are long distance require two people to work.

A relationship is two ways- not one. Both people have to put in the effort. One can’t give more and one can’t take more… a good, authentic relationship should be half and half. No one is above the other.

7. Doubt in your heart is caused by something deep within you or by the enemy who loves to attack.

Doubt. The enemy loves to attack us (especially, us women) I don’t think God is going to question us- I mean gives us free will and waits for us to come to Him. A loving Father. Never forceful or rude. Understanding and patient. But the enemy- he’ll keep us up for nights on end- causing to worry, stress and doubt our hearts. I don’t think God does that. You have get to the root of the doubt. Am I doubting this ______ because I don’t feel good enough? Am I doubting this _____ because I don’t really want this? Am I doubting this _____ because I’m scared? Am I doubting this _____ because I don’t know what the future holds? Get to the root of your doubt and discern where it’s coming from. Maybe it is from God but I still think God won’t attack with doubt but He’ll still make us question ourselves- in a loving way.

8. You are stronger than you think.

You are so much stronger than you think. You’ve been through so much and you’ve come so far from who you used to be. Realize that. You are so much stronger than you think. It’s okay to give yourself some credit.

9. You have the power to create your everyday.

If you want to be happy- be happy. It’s simple. Choose to create each day the way you want it to go. Don’t let life’s circumstances or annoyances get in the way of your day or your attitude. (Easier said that done, sometimes). In reality, life is short enough.. if something bad happens or unexpected, your best best is to roll with the punches. Create the life you want to live- don’t let life create you.

10. Be kind to others.

Offer a simple smile- even if it’s uncomfortable and awkward. Simply say “hello, how are you” in passing. Try and be kind. Be kind. Everyone is living life just as you are. Life is not perfect for them either- so why not be kind?

11. Go forth with a good attitude.

Just like creating your everyday- rememberer to have a good attitude. When you have a bad attitude you’re not only going to mentally drain yourself- but you’re going to be miserable. For instance, I was walking the beach the other day. I knew I had walked far but I wasn’t sure how far because I kept my phone in my pocket. I turned around and started walking back to my car. I thought I was done walking, as I turned on what I thought was my parking lot. Turns out it wasn’t. My human nature caused me to become a little irritated because I still had a ways to walk. Luckily, it quickly dawned on me- I don’t need to be in a rush to get back. I need to enjoy every step I take, knowing I’ll get there eventually. (Ugh, seriously I wish time didn’t exist sometimes! The struggle is real.)

12. Life goes by fast- enjoy every moment instead of worrying about the future or looking ahead to the future.

Simple. Life goes by fast. I don’t even feel like I’m officially 24 today. I can’t believe that I’ve been on this earth officially 23 years as of today. But I have. And life’s only going to keep on going. So why continue to live it focused on the future? Why continue to live it looking towards the future? No. I refuse to live that way. I only have today. I only have this moment. Right now, I’m sitting in my car with the air conditioner on, with ice coffee enjoying the sunshine and all the cars going by. Pretty soon this will only be a memory. Life is really a collection of memories and moments. I don’t want to waste them by thinking about the next 30 minutes or anything in the future. I’m in today. Join me today by living in the presence- right now and every day.

13. Faith in God is an every day thing. It’s easy to lose your faith in today’s day and age. Faith requires action. Everyday action. Simply praying or listening to worship music is a start.

It’s so easy to lose focus and wrap ourselves up in our to do lists and our jobs and our school. Our faith in God can easily take the back burner but it should be number one in our lives. Jesus is always with us. In every moment and as I write this I’m looking at the picture of Christ from the Divine Mercy. Each day He calls us to Him, patiently waiting for our return. It’s funny when I live my life going through the motions- without a routine and especially without my time with Jesus (bible study and prayer) I find life goes by much, much, much faster. I need to have faith in God because He’s the reason I’m here. To live for Him. Take an hour in the mornings (before you start your day) or an hour at night (before you end your day) and spend time with Him. You won’t regret it. Faith in Him makes your life much better.

14. You do not have to change for anyone. Those who don’t accept you for who you are aren’t worth it.

Those who try and make you change are not for you. Run. Run as fast as you can and never look back. When you change who you are or try and be someone else- you will lose yourself. Don’t do it sweetly. I promise you will regret it. Run. Just run.

15. You can never change someone. A person only changes from their free will- (bible verse on how god gives us free will)

Same as above. You can never change someone. You either accept someone for who they are or you leave. People don’t change. People only change if they have a deep reason to or if they have the desire to. You can never change someone and honestly you can’t really help someone whose not helping themselves. Run. Run far away if you think staying is going to change someone.

16. The time can quickly pass us by. It’s easy to go through the motions of life, just working or going to school (maybe both) but don’t let those things stop you from living. Create memories. Commit to yourself. To your hobbies. To your passions.

Much similar to previous numbers above- create your life everyday. Don’t live your life going through the motions- just doing what you have to do. Life is more than a paycheck, it’s more than paying bills and putting food on the table- oh and eating. Life is more than all that. Life is about memories and moments. Life is about God. Remember to live today. Don’t just go to work, go home and eat. Do more. Live your life before you can’t anymore.

17. The Eucharist is sacred. There is no religion better than the other. It’s okay to be curious about other faiths.

There is beauty in tradition- honor it. No religion is better or higher than any other. All faith is centered around God (well some aren’t but you know what I mean). It’s okay to be interested in other faiths and to learn about them. (Disclaimer- I’m not saying it’s okay to stray from your beliefs in God- I’m saying it’s okay to learn about other religions- such as Catholicism).

18. Everyone’s trying to be the same. Be yourself. Don’t give up your talents because you feel like you are the same as everyone else- no ones words are like yours. No ones photos are like yours. No one is like you.

With society, especially lately, I feel like a lot of the YouTube community looks the same in appearance and I feel like a lot of the Instagram accounts I used to follow are all the same. It’s almost like everyone is getting into this new age “holistic” or “yoga” trend. And it’s okay. It doesn’t matter what “it seems like or feels like everyone is doing”. Just do you. Don’t let others upset your or deter you from doing what you love. Who cares if they know how to handstand or if they become a yoga teacher before you? Who cares. Once again- it’s their life. Each of our lives is our own. No one is above anyone (unless your Jesus Christ 💛). Keep doing you- no matter what the world is doing.

19. Be with someone who not only treats you good but challenges you to be better and helps you grow in your faith.

Simple. As a human being- you should treat someone with love, respect and dignity. Is it enough to treat someone good? No not really. Your significant other should be challenging you to grow in your faith and in your personal life.

20. The insecurities you have when around someone of the same sex- is often brought on by past experiences- get to the root of what’s causing the insecurity and pray for forgiveness and healing.

You are good enough. You are worthy enough. You are pretty enough. You are funny enough. You are enough. Do not feel inferior around anyone (female or male). If you start to feel inferior- there’s a deeper cause there. Get to the root of why you’re feeling that way and pray for forgiveness and healing.

21. Prayer is powerful.

Stop forsaking prayer. Prayer is powerful. The more people that pray the better. God listens and He answers.

22. Natural health triumphs spending hundreds and hundreds on the latest beauty trends.

God has already provided us everything we need on this earth. Why spend hundreds of dollars on the newest beauty trends? It’s much cheaper and better for your health to put your money towards natural products that last longer and can create fun homemade receipts with.

23. Take care of your body. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, treat it as such.

Simple. Eat. Drink water. Exercise. Sleep. There is not one way to eat (despite what society will push on you and religious groups) eat what you feel comfortable and right in your heart to eat. No one is above another because they eat a certain way. Just take care of your body. Do what works for you!

24. When you take care of your body, it becomes easier to take care of your mind.

The more you care for your body and treat it like a temple for the Holy Spirit- the easier it becomes to take care of your mind.

25. When you take care of your faith, it becomes easier to embrace each day with positivity and drive.

Never lose God. Remember Him in your everyday life and things will become better.

Xoxo,

L.A

Published by

freelovedandworthy- Laura Aleena

Writing to encourage others of the hope that rests in Jesus Christ. We are free, loved and worthy because of HIM. Some things I enjoy: being at the ocean and listening to the peaceful sounds of the waves, getting lost in nature and exploring Gods beautiful creation, writing and sharing my thoughts with others in the hopes of making a positive difference in their lives. I enjoy this life and I hope you'll join me in this journey! 1 Timothy 4:12, "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."

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