The Most Important Things I Have Learned in My First Forty Years

Today, October 4 , 2016 is my fortieth birthday.

Lots of living, lots of life in those forty years.

I have learned a lot of things, the most important I will share with you on this magical day.


This took me a long time to learn, and probably even longer to realize I wasn’t doing it. I learned from caring only about myself, to others really mattered. To be a good person meant to be kind to everyone all the time. I learned life did not revolve just around my happiness but other’s happiness was just as important. I learned through the act of kindness I moved into empathy for others; a huge revelation in my life. Having empathy really makes me and all people human.


I learned through the years that I needed to learn to love not only others but myself. I will speak more to myself later. Loving others, loving all people was not something that came naturally to me. I cared only about me first and most, and then a selected few family members. Learning how to grow my heart has changed me so much and made one of the biggest differences in the second part of my life. Growing my heart took a lot of work but as soon as it started to grow it hasn’t stopped and I have a big heart filled with loving-compassion and kindness for all people that didn’t really develop until my late 20’s.


First for starters, I thought all sandboxes belonged to me! What a kick in the ass that reality was for me! I had to learn to share, those things that I treasured the most. Generosity was big here and was probably learned when I was around 10 years old. I learned that to keep playing with others in the sandbox I had to share well, everything. As I grew older I learned this to be true about myself and about all my possessions. I learned not to hold too tightly to them, and if someone really liked something of mine, give it to them, because it made them happy. I realized one of the most important lessons possessions weren’t nearly ass important as people. People I learned mattered most in my life whether they were dear friends or mere strangers. I learned that life was people and people were life. What a moment of clarity and the divine that truly was.


I learned by my late teens I was far from the person I was meant to be. I wasn’t living the life I was supposed to be living, or being the person I was born to be. I learned through a tough and rough road of self-actualization and authenticity “to be who I was and go all the way” This was much easier said then done. I started so far from my truth, covered in layers of smoke and mirrors, and veils of deception I didn’t even realize I was living within. I first recognized this in my late teens and has been and still remains a work in progress.  Living authentically and being true to myself are for me and most people the pinnacle of their existence. It is no small feat and I believe is never fully completed while we are living. At some point in our lives we realize YES THIS IS ME. But then the myriad of questions on how to get to that me begins. As I slide into forty today, I have mountains to climb before I am truly authentic. However, I know where I am going and I know who I am supposed to be. What I can do as I journey to these destinations is not live in opposition to my Truths. I may not be actualizing my Truths but I am at least not living in opposition.


Out of the six life lessons that have shaped my forty years, learning first to like myself  has been a grand and magnanimous feat. When, I finally got the courage to look into my mirror of Truth I was disgusted at that which I was in many ways. I loved myself, hell yes, I was IN love with myself. It was a dark moment of wavering on the lone prairie with the wind hurling and swirling all around me. It was only through learning to live authentically that I could even begin to fathom liking a little part of myself. The more I moved deeper into self-actualization the greater my ability to like and yes finally now, just begin to love myself. It is a humble feeling not one of grandiosity by any means. The flaws and defects of my being are mine to love and live with. Not easy, and forever a work in progress.


As I approached my late 20’s and through this very moment I am aware of what a rainbow of people comprise this earth. In saying that, living it, and dealing with it ,I have learned the great importance of building bridges in this world. I in my self-actualization work have learned I can be a lightening rod of sorts, and as a result I need to extend my hand ever so gently and graciously to others so that I may live harmoniously as possible. Building bridges is a one of the greatest tools of my adult life as I no longer need to fight with others, but come to understandings on points of reasonableness. I have learned that burning bridges is devastating and sometimes unrepairable. Building bridges is what the last decade of my life has truly been dedicated to. What a difference it makes in the quality of my everyday life. Building bridges instead of higher walls.

So those are the biggies in my first forty years. Wow the journey I have traversed! If I am fortunate to make it to fifty I will write another blog that one will be on the greatest bits of knowledge I have to share. I know this is one of my most important and biggest decades. I look forward to it starting today and maximizing every moment to its fullest. Something I must keep reminding myself to do. Life is short, and life can be as full and as vibrant as we chose to make it. Time to live!