23 In Living/ Love

Life Lessons Come in All Shapes and Sizes

 

Life lessons. They come in all shapes and sizes. Positives and negatives. Trials and tribulations

We’ve all been through tough times, and that’s what is important to remember. We ALL have!

It’s also important to acknowledge that many of us successfully pull ourselves out the other side stronger, wiser, and with our sanity [somewhat] intact (even if it didn’t feel like it at the time).

Of course, this doesn’t prevent us from fucking up again. I know I fuck up ALL the time! I trust too much, I’m way too honest, I can be loyal to the wrong people. But, even with all my fuck ups, at least I TRY my hardest to learn something, anything, from them! After all, isn’t that kinda the purpose of life. We live. We learn. We become wiser (hopefully). And then we then learn to live more truly. Oh, and we might even share our learnings. So here’s 4 of the biggest lessons I’ve learned throughout my life so far, because sharing is caring 🙂

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Admittedly, not sweating the hard stuff is hard to do. I mean, if I didn't sweat all the small stuff then you wouldn't be reading my blog which is full of me sweating the small stuff, stressing out over stupid shit, and constantly needing to remind myself!

Admittedly, not sweating the hard stuff is hard to do. I mean, if I didn’t sweat the small stuff then you wouldn’t be reading my blog which is full of me sweating the small stuff, stressing out over stupid shit, and constantly needing to remind myself!

Trust me when I tell you this – the small stuff, it ain’t worth it!

But that’s for you to learn. You won’t realise it’s small stuff until you are long into your 30’s and have possibly been writing about it on a public blog for 4 1/2 years…(earlier if you are really wise and learned and stuff!). Unless you tune into mindfulness – THAT I highly recommend! Life-changer!

2. Shit will happen BUT you will survive.

shit will happen more than once - to all of us. We all have a choice though. We can choose to let the shit drag you down, again and again, or we can suck it up, pull up our boot straps and move onwards and upwards. Again and again.

Actually, shit will happen more than once – to all of us. The thing is, we all have a choice. We can choose to let the shit drag you down, again and again, or we can suck it up, pull up our boot straps and move onwards and upwards. Again and again.

We are all on this crazy ride together, even though at times we feel so alone.

So do yourself a favour.

Find yourself a mantra, memorise it, use it, and most importantly realise that you are not alone. Just like Dory said…just keep swimming’. Seriously, that person zoning out next to you on the train on the morning commute is right there with you, going through their own shit and making their own choices. Try not to judge, and show yourself and others some heartfelt compassion because life ain’t easy. Then again, it was never meant to be.

Just like Dory said…’just keep swimming’.

3. Put yourself first.

It's true what they say, that you can only help others when you help yourself. Self-love is a very important thing - and it isn't selfish, no matter what anyone tells you.

As a true people pleaser, for the longest of times I believed that putting others first was the right thing to do. And so I sacrificed myself – my health (both physical and mental), my values, my self-esteem.

I’ve landed myself in some terrible, demoralising situations due to my people-pleasing tendencies (and lack of confidence and inability to say ‘NO’). I am thankful that as I’ve grown older I’ve grown some balls, a voice and learnt to speak up for myself. It was only last year that I started really putting myself first though – and that’s when my life changed.

It’s true what they say, that you can only help others when you help yourself. Self-love is a very important thing – and it isn’t selfish, no matter what anyone tells you.

4. Open yourself up to love.

Because love is life-changing, soul-defining, and beautiful. Love IS so worth it all, even with the potential or real heartbreak. You can always fall in love again, and there is even the chance that you will prove the statistics wrong and live a real-life love story. It might not be like the fairy tales, but it will be your own.

There is nothing like heartbreak. It feels like you are dying a slow death every minute, every hour, and every day – for however long it lasts. The darkness and emptiness is all-encompassing, so much so that it can be hard to find any reason to go on.

So why the hell am I recommending that you open yourself up to love if there’s a chance that it can be so soul-destroying?

Because love is life-changing, soul-defining, and beautiful. Love IS so worth it all, even with the potential or real heartbreak. You can always fall in love again, and there is even the chance that you will prove the statistics wrong and live a real-life love story. It might not turn out to be like the fairy tales, but it will be your own.

This is coming from someone who had securely locked her heart up deep within the crevice of her chest until the age of 26, and then, quite unexpectedly she fell in love when she accidentally let her guard down and was crushed. And although she thought that was the end, she healed, grew stronger and met someone new. Someone more worthwhile.

10 years later we are still together, newly wed, and embarking on the next chapter of their lives together.

 

If you want to read more about my journey to accepting and loving myself after years, check out these posts:

Learning to Love Myself Again

Getting hitched was never part of my plan

Things I Learned Working Out at the Gym

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  • Tara Schiller
    April 18, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Loved this post. You are right about it all. Shit will happen, no matter how awesome you are at planning it all. The only way to thrive is to love yourself first, and for God’s sake, open yourself up for love. Thanks for sharing your life lessons… we could use more of those from people.

    -Tara

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    April 18, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Great post Janine, really loved it. I wish I didn’t sweat the small stuff, it’s my biggest problem, I think I stress more of silly small stuff than the big issues. Love all your advice #FridayReflections

  • Debbie Rodrigues
    April 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Number 3 is still a struggle to me. No, it is not healthy, but I have started with more self-love and I am going to get there too. Thank you for sharing!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Sometimes it takes a life defining moment to wake up up!

  • Penelope James
    April 21, 2015 at 2:58 am

    All of these are good lessons. Made me think about what lessons I’d learned at your age.
    Always do your best at work; no halfway measures, for any job, large or small.
    Be careful whom you trust. Trust is fragile and easily broken.
    The man you love most isn’t always the man you end up with.
    Don’t get overconfident; shit will happen and you’d better be prepared.
    Wish I’d learned to put myself first, but I didn’t, and suffered the consequences.
    Now, many years later, I’d add: A positive attitude is your best weapon. And something about perseverance. Going after what you truly want in life. Not giving up.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Penelope. I wish I could meet you in person. You have learnt so much throughout your life, and continue to do so. I can wait to read your books. And I totally agree about the positive attitude – that is also a life changer…

  • Eloquent Mind
    April 21, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Loved the inspiring thoughts, Janine. Thanks so much for sharing ! 🙂

    Every one has a battle of their own so we need to acknowledge that and not judge just because we can’t see their scars.

    And you are absolutely right when you say – Shit WILL happen. Admitting that truth is half-winning the battle.

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Exactly! Shit will always happen!

  • Marie
    April 23, 2015 at 4:52 am

    It’s the small stuff that drags you down into the shit for sure!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 25, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Haha I love how blunt you are. And I still can’t believe your frickin’ 45 and pole dancing and sharing videos over social media. You rock!

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