2020 Hindsight (Words to Live By)

Definition of twenty-twenty hindsight

the full knowledge and complete understanding that one has about an event only after it has happened

I am not a resolution person, but I do believe in goal setting. And more than that, I believe that knowledge is power. I’ve come out of 2020, like many of you—wounded, weary and (hopefully) wiser. In the midst of all of the uncertainty of the past year, I’ve collected these tidbits…lessons learned in a year that no one could have anticipated.

Chase your stars fool, life is short. —Atticus Time is finite. Everything has an expiration date. I’m not a YOLO person, in fact, I actually hate that phrase because it connotes a sense of recklessness. Living life fully and chasing your dreams does require risk, but I don’t believe it has to be reckless. 2020 has taught me to live more fully in the present. Don’t just pause, but stop. Look people in the eye, listen more, (respectfully) speak your mind and remind yourself that you’re stronger than you think.

Everything you go through grows you. —Unknown Related to these wise words is a quote from Nelson Mandela, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” Life is hard, hearts get broken but how we respond to these things sets the course for how we move forward. Growing pains hurt and are often uncomfortable, but it’s vital that we learn to grow with grace.

We repeat what we don’t repair. #speaklife Most of us choose NOT to deal with emotions, past hurts, traumas, and especially grief. While this strategy may work in the short term, we all know that suppressing those feelings only causes us more pain in the end. And in worst-case scenarios, burying those hurts can cause us to act out in unhealthy ways and hurt ourselves or others. Be honest with yourself. Sometimes you have to rip off the bandaid to truly heal.

I am the kind of person who will restart a song because I got distracted and wasn’t appreciating it enough. —Unknown I’ve been known to do this…a lot! As I age, I realize more and more the value of giving something or someone your full, undivided attention. It’s harder than you might think, but worth it in the end. Always.

Stand close to people who feel like sunshine. —Unknown In parenting circles, a common rule of thumb is to make sure you know your kids’ friends. Children are greatly influenced by their peers and research shows that attitude is directly influenced by the five people you spend the most time with. To some degree, these same stats can be applied across all age groups. That being said, choose wisely. The company you keep has a direct correlation to your happiness and well-being.

The way we treat people we disagree with the most is a report card on what we’ve learned about love. —Bob Goff This is a tough one. I wholeheartedly believe in extending grace and kindness, but this is easier said than done. In today’s cancel culture and divisive political climate, it’s important to remember that no one moment or phrase defines any one person. We are all multi-faceted, complicated, imperfect people who make mistakes. How we respond to one another in moments like this exposes our true character.

Be careful who you trust. Salt and sugar look the same. —Unknown I thank God every day for the gift of intuition. While I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I have learned many times over that not everyone has your best interest in mind and that not all intentions are good. Guard your heart.

No response is a response. —Unknown No response is hard and difficult. No response is rejection and hurt feelings…and no response is in fact a response. Despite our best efforts, we don’t always get the outcomes we desire.

Anger is just sad’s bodyguard. —Unknown I’ve noticed two dominant emotions during the past year…sadness and anger. I had never given much thought to these emotions as a pair, but can clearly see the connection now. Dealing with loss, having to hear “no” and living in fear of the virus has caused a large number of us to become defensive and mad. Viewing this anger as a result of sadness and disappointment helps us to see each other differently and respond with sensitivity.

Gut feelings are guardian angels. Listen to them. —Unknown I think women have the hardest time with this lesson. We’ve been taught to be nice and make nice. This is all well and good, but don’t do it at the expense of your well-being, peace of mind or safety. Trust your gut!

it is no small thing / to sing in the rain —courage Humans are resilient, 2020 has taught us that if nothing else. It may take a while, but don’t give up on yourself or a situation! What a testimony it is to learn to “sing” in the rain!

Grief is learning to live with someone in your heart instead of your arms. —Unknown This has been the hardest lesson. One that I’m continuing to learn, understand, and struggle with on a daily basis…my mother is gone from this earth but continues to live in me and in all those who loved her dearly.

Praying blessings, purpose and joy abound in 2021.

Cling to what is good… Romans 12:9

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