What You Learn When You Stop Trying So Hard

When you stop comparing and expecting you begin to see the world for its beauty.  You walk more slowly and you love more fully.  You learn that we are humans and that we need one another.  You learn that fear is really what drives all your worries and that hope is what drives your purpose.  You gain insight with intention.  You listen more than talk and give more than receive.

You learn about yourself.  You understand that in order to be the best partner, you need to love you.  This means leaving behind the years of trying to figure yourself out and enjoying the person you are each and every day.  Be unapologetic in the way you treat yourself.  Take care of your mind, body, and soul.  Do yoga.  Get massages. Read books. Engage in conversations. Be open-minded.  Build a firm foundation in yourself.  Always be willing to give yourself second chances.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, but don’t be a victim.  Take risks and chances, but protect your heart.  Learn to sit and breath without the distraction of another person in the room.  Be willing to take yourself to dinner and announce “just one.”  Don’t be ashamed to cry.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.  Leave your bad attitude as quickly as you can.

You learn to laugh.  You learn to let go.  You learn to have fun.  Then you stop comparing yourself to others.  You learn that telling yourself you are beautiful isn’t vain.  And that shame and guilt are heavy shoes and walking in them for too long is tiring.

You learn about work.  You learn that working isn’t an option.  You learn that loving your job is a huge step towards a happy life. You learn that having great co-workers is as important as having great friends.  You learn that someone else bad day doesn’t have to ruin yours.  You learn to have an attitude of teamwork.  Suggestions and criticisms become constructive and not offensive.  You engage in the team effort.  You learn that you can’t micromanage and you let go of perfection.  You know that always having to be right is exhausting.

You learn about friends.  You keep the friends around who are genuine.  The rest float on.  You learn that having a small number of true friends is better than thousands of Facebook likes.  To be a good friend, you have to be giving.  You have to reach out to your friends, spend time laughing about the past, enjoying the present, and not worrying about the future.  You learn that being single around your coupled friends is humbling and not feeling lonely is rewarding.  You learn that feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of time and reaching your hand out to others alleviates the discontent with yourself.  You learn not to gossip.  You learn that communication doesn’t have to be constant.  That like-minded people make you feel alive.

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers.  Say hi to someone in the grocery line.  Give a high-five to a kid walking by.  You learn to stop staring down at your smart phone and look up.  Don’t be afraid to smile even when you don’t feel like it.  Act as if.  Act as if you care, love, and have compassion for every person you meet.

You learn about love.  You learn that falling in love is intentional and that intent means letting go of the youthful past and making way for a healthy future. You learn that break-ups don’t have to be breakdowns.  You learn that marrying your best friend is important.  That flaws are not red flags and that red flags are worth attending to.  You learn that to keep a marriage vibrant it may take more work than anything you’ve endured in your life.  You learn patience, perseverance, and a willingness to say you are sorry. You learn that when you are with the right person, your passion fuels the work. You learn that date nights should never stop.  You learn that happiness comes when we stop expecting our relationship to be like other ones.  You learn to ask your partner for what you want and do it politely.  You never stop working on yourself.  You understand that forgiveness is golden and being stubborn leaves you restless.  You learn that the grass only appears greener on the other side because you aren’t watering your own.  You learn to compromise.  Always give your best self to your partner and when you can’t- try harder.  Travel together.  Be supportive of one another’s dreams.  Cuddle.  Sleep in and have breakfast in bed.  Bring her flowers often.  Kiss him when he comes home.  Hold hands.

You learn to find peace.  You learn that balance is important.  That trying to question why things are the way they are is a waste of time.  You learn to stop.  You learn to take a step back and surrender yourself to something more powerful than you.  You learn that in order to be happy you must have positive energy.  You learn to forgive and really forget.  You learn that you have mindful choices.  You learn that money is just green and white paper.  You learn that feeling inspired is necessary.  You learn that your journey is no less incredible than anyone else’s.

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