Christmas time is one of the holidays that we mostly look forward to every year. And Christmas in 2017 has come quite sooner than expected, at least for me. It is a time to celebrate, to spend time with family, to meditate on the year that’s passed, and make resolutions for a better year ahead.
As it is family time, I wanted to make my twelve days of Christmas meaningful, and a period to reflect on the impact that those around us have on us and our lives as a whole.
It is quite important to surround yourself with people who impact positively on you. Surround yourself with people who make you a better person and encourage you to move forward.
When I CHOSE to share my life with Timothy, that was long before my engagement, it was within reason. Very much so, that I now realise that that was one of the most important decisions I ever made in my life. Why? Because this mere deed made a 180° flip on my life.
A relationship that comes with lessons and readjustment in deeds and way of thinking.
For the Twelve Days of Christmas, I will share with you twelve valuable lessons I’ve learned from him.
1. Be patient.
In all honesty, patience was never a virtue I resonated with. I was what we’d call a short wired person. I would lose patience with anyone in the shortest time possible. And Timothy kept telling me, “Linda, be patient.” We would be in a position where we both need the same thing done by someone, and I would look at my watch, fidget, and generally want to cause a scene. He would be calm, and collected, and most likely reading a book or a magazine. Eventually, I picked up on this. I started to emulate his mannerisms, and as it turns out, you feel better about things when you are patient.
2. Money is highly fluid.
We put so much value in money that it becomes what rules our lives. Money takes over and dictates how we act, how we treat one another and most of the time, it leaves us with poor relations and in conflict over irrelevant issues. The most important thing about money is very simple “it comes and goes”. You cannot let something that is so fluid dictate the solid and more structured aspects about your life. Be in control of it. Not the other way around.
3. Pursue your dreams.
Every single major step I’ve made in my adult life has been heavily supported by Timothy. Ladies, I am not talking about financial support. You would be surprised how much emotional support we crave , especially when you have none at all. It is very important. We all have dreams and ambitions, and more often than not , we are in constant doubt and do not believe that we can get anywhere. We do not believe that we have the capacity to ACHIEVE and GROW in something. Self doubt is the killer of most dreams. Believe in yourself and pursue your goals.
4. Support your own.
Like I said in point three, you would be surprised how much you need emotional support. And more often than not, we ASSUME that those around us are fine. They do not need us. If they want anything from us, they will let us know. Sadly, most people suffer in silence. It is up to us to check on our people and make sure that they are fine. Understand that we are different human beings and there are people who are either afraid or do not know how to seek help. Be the one who reaches out. You could change someone’s life.
5. Be kind.
I have never met anyone with a heart bigger than Timothy. He is far too kind! Very much so that sometimes I have to step in and say, “No. Enough. You’ve done enough, let it go.” Sometimes, when you are kind to others , they may take advantage of this. It’s a sad situation, but very much possible nonetheless. Be kind anyway. It takes absolutely nothing to be good to those around you. If anything, you warm the hearts of those around you and leave a great impact on their lives. Everyone in my family, every single person, mentions how kind a person Timothy is. That is very rare.
6. Be Humble.
Now, this is easier said than done. Mostly because we let our achievements get to our head. We become different people when we realise that we have some sort of advantage over others. That’s wrong. It is important to remain humble and always remember where we come from. Understand that no human being is better than the next, and we are all equal in the eyes of God.
7. Treat everyone with utmost respect.
This goes hand in hand with his “kindness” trait. It does not matter how old the person is, what his occupation or profession is, where he is from, his race, his religious beliefs, among others. Treat everyone with great respect! Treat the janitor with the same level of respect you would treat the CEO with.
8. Be human.
This may sound funny, but a lot of people do not understand what it means to be human. There’s a lot of things that we do that leave people feeling not so good about themselves. Empathy. If we put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we are in a better position to understand or at least have a glimpse of what they are going through. Do not make anyone feel inferior. Try and make everyone feel good about themselves. Make someone’s day. One act of kindness per day and it becomes a habit.
9. Love unconditionally.
When Timothy moved to the states, everyone thought I would lose my patience and forget about him. I am sorry to disappoint. The truth is, I have never seen anyone love someone the way Timothy loves me. I am not very certain how this came to be, but I do not complain. When you do things for anyone, do not expect anything in return. Keep doing good by them. Sometimes it’s not even about them. It’s about how it makes you feel. Be very unconditional in how you love those around you. Your parents, your siblings, your friends. Keep sending good vibes to them, with zero expectations. At the end of the day, it does a lot for your soul.
10. Accept others for who they are.
We are all human. We are prone to error. We have shortcomings. None of this is brand new. Every single human being has some sort of fault. Sometimes, the faults are different from our own. And we end up frowning upon other people’s weaknesses because we feel that we are stronger in that particular sector that we forget that we fall short in other areas. We are different people with different weaknesses. Work around them. Accept others for who they are. Focus on their strengths.
11. Always see the positive side of things.
Now, there have been a lot of ups and downs. A lot. In some instances, the easier thing to do would be to ignore, or leave, or just any other negative way of responding to such situations. But we created a habit of seeing things from a positive perspective. If we had somewhere to go, say on a date, and we needed the sun to have a great and fun day, and it started raining, we would look at one another (ps: we both hate inconveniences) and mutually decide to stay home and build a fort in the living room, line up a selection of movies and tv shows with food and snacks and juice, and stay in. At the end of the day, the idea was to spend time together and have a great time. And we did.
12. Communicate Effectively.
This could be in a relationship setting, or at home with family, or at work. Communication is a vital skill. It is very essential to learn how to communicate effectively with those around you. Assumptions and “silence” are the reason many people fall out. When you think about that friend you fell out with, what made you grow apart? Or that family member you do not talk to anymore? It is always a fault in communication that creates rifts in people’s lives.
At the end of the day, we all learn a few things from those around us. If they do not impact your life positively, then perhaps it is time to evaluate a few things.
With that, I would love to wish you a lovely Christmas! May you be filled with joy and love this Christmas season.