1. Don’t be afraid to stand in your truth. The life experiences you have are unique and no matter how many obstacles you’ve faced, these experiences have molded you into the person you are today. Use your life as a tool to help or change someone else’s life or circumstances.
2. Create boundaries. This applies to everyone from your partner to your parents. Establishing clear lines and limits in all of your interpersonal relationships is the key to maintaining these relationships. These boundaries are vital and can range from limiting phone/text contact to letting people firmly know that private and intrusive inquiries into your life are not permitted. You are entitled to allow people access to as much or as little of you and your life as you prefer.
3. Be open. To everything. Sometimes we create rigid and ridiculous rules for our lives. By using phrases of totality such as “I ONLY do this, or I would NEVER do that” we limit our opportunities for gratifying and life-changing experiences by being close-minded to new challenges, different people and revolutionary ideas. While keeping safety and morality in mind, try something new and you’d be surprised on what you’ve been missing out on.
4. Say what’s on your mind. Too often we bottle things up because we can’t find the right words to speak, we’re worried about offending someone or even worse, we think no one will listen. Carrying around our heaviest thoughts and burdens can cause additional anxieties and worries. People who truly care about you will understand and appreciate the new-found expressive side of you. Speaking about things that upset or trouble us allow us to evaluate our lives and make informed decisions. Also expressing our inner-most thoughts gives us the power over self-doubt/self-hate.
5. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Too often our trauma and hurt has forced us to build walls in our hearts and minds that block other pain, not realizing that our defense mechanisms or default coping skill of repression creates a hinderance to our healing. We have to be willing to be seen by someone trusted (homie, lover, friend, therapist) as emotional, broken, or damaged in order to truly address our deep-seated issues.
*Each day we are faced with challenges, dilemmas, hardships and heartaches. Searching for the lesson in all of the messes we encounter is imperative in turning our tragedies into triumph. Keep living and most importantly, keep learning.