A month ago, I turned 32.
To say that my life has been an adventure would be an understatement, but these past few years have taught me so much so fast that I feel sometimes I can barely keep up. This post is my attempt to put into words some of the things I have learned, and am still learning, so that I don’t forget them as I move on to new lessons.
This post is not a comprehensive summary of my beliefs. It’s a mix of my lifelong faith as a follower of Jesus, my intense study of near death experiences, my fascination with quantum physics and all things science, and my life experience of trauma and healing, living, loving, and being loved.
Some of these lessons have been the hardest things I’ve learned. Some have been the most enlightening and freeing. Most are hard to sum up into a few sentences. But all have given my life incredible joy, meaning, and fulfillment.
Thirty-Two Things I’ve Learned in Thirty-Two Years
1. God is love and he created the world out of love. Science and religion are bridging together to show us that the universe is made of quantum packets of light energy, and that the frequency of this energy is divine (perfect, unconditional) love.
“And he is before all things and in him all things hold together.” [Colossians 1:17]
You are love. I am love. The whole universe is love. Literally. Get this and everything else falls into place.
2. Life is the school of learning how to love. We are spiritual (infinite) beings temporarily living in a physical (limited) time and space-dimensional world to learn about our true nature (love) in a variety of difficult circumstances and situations, through choice and consequence.
You want to know what life is all about? It is all about love.
3. Jesus came to show us what God is really like. The old testament of the Bible is often misused to paint a very wrong picture of God. Jesus showed us that it must be understood through the context of the culture and time in which it was written.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.”
God loves his enemies, forgives us freely, and sacrificed himself to fix our wrongs. This is who God is and who he has always been. We, in our humanity, simply misunderstood. He is big enough to handle our sins. He allows us to experience the consequences of our actions for our own growth, and he works all things for our ultimate good.
4. We all experience exactly what we need to experience in this life for our individual and collective growth. See those who have mistreated you as playing a necessary role in your life and thank them for it.
Difficult people and circumstances are gifts. They provide us with opportunities to grow in love, empathy, understanding, and faith. They drive us to find our peace, joy, and security in God, our source.
5. We are all privileged to be here. Life on earth is an invaluable growth opportunity for our souls, a phenomenal physical experience for spiritual beings. Be all here. Immerse yourself in the entire experience. Love extravagantly. Breath. Feel. Care. Hurt. Be broken. Heal. Learn. Grow. Take full advantage of this opportunity for physical life.
6. Don’t waste your life looking for love or believing that you are not loved. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend. You are surrounded by love, inside and out. You are a living, breathing manifestation of God’s love to the world. Know who you are and get to work – there’s a lot to be done down here.
7. Don’t waste your life trying to figure out what your purpose is. We all have the same purpose.
“This is the message we have heard from the beginning: we should love one another.” [John 13:34]
If you want to change the world, love the person next to you. Focus on that, and everything else will unfold.
8. Accept that every single person in your life will let you down and give them the freedom to do so. Accept that you are also letting those around you down, even and especially when you can’t see it.
First accept yourself for who you are, strengths and weaknesses alike. Then understand how your weaknesses affect others. Then you will be both secure and humble enough to grow.
9. Attachment is not love because it needs something in return. Love is unconditional. But we are learning about unconditional love within the context of emotional attachments to and inter-dependency with imperfect people, which provides immense growth opportunities for us as spiritual beings.
10. People. Are. For. Loving. Not for using, pushing away, cutting out, avoiding, retaliating against, judging, criticizing, looking down on, being intimidated by, being afraid of, worrying about, being dependent on, or obsessing over. Just love them.
11. I am filled and surrounded by infinite divine love. I have everything I need inside me, in my spirit where I connect to my creator, my source. I can rise to any task, have energy and strength for anything that is given to me to do, have faith for any need, have enough love for any situation. I can handle the failures of others without being drained, annoyed, or offended. I am stable. I am secure. I am at peace. I am a safe place. I have fountains of living water in my heart and I am infinitely replenished.
12. No-one is unworthy. People are always worth it. Time and energy invested into a person is never a waste, whether you see the results or not.
13. Don’t worry about whether you are getting anything back for what you give. The giving itself produces an infinite return.
The world works opposite of what most people think. Serve to be fulfilled. Let go of things to receive them. Give freely to be blessed. Love freely to find love. Create joy to be happy.
Create abundance for those around you by sharing what you have even when you don’t have enough, and suddenly you will find you had more than enough all along.
14. What we focus on, whether offenses, fears and worries, or blessings, joy, and love, we will see everywhere, experience more of, and ultimately create in our lives.
Those who see the world as a negative place see nothing but problems and become part of the problem themselves. Those who see the world as a miracle see miracles everywhere and become part of the world’s healing.
15. Most of us believe deep down inside that we can’t be happy, shouldn’t be happy, or that it is not possible to be happy for one reason or another.
Allowing myself to feel deeply, completely, and radically happy in every moment of every day, in every circumstance, is my greatest act of rebellion against the darkness of the world.
16. As someone who was depressed for 20 years combined at different points in my life, believe me when I say that depression is only necessary in that it teaches us how to be free of it. You do not have to be depressed.
17. Healing, whether emotional, mental, or physical, happens when you decide to be healed. When you believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be healed. Your healing begins when you re-envision yourself as a healthy person. This is not popular in our culture, but it is 100% supported by science. The Bible calls it faith, neuroscience calls it mindset, quantum physics calls it intention.
18. When someone wrongs you, make it your goal to do two practical, heartfelt acts of love in return. Make it big, so they can’t miss it.
“Love covers a multitude of sins.” Literally. Science calls it “constructive interference.” When we out-love offense, we physically, in the quantum field, overpower the energy wave of the offense with love.
I don’t have time and energy to waste being upset, depressed, worried, stressed, afraid or offended. I’m too busy creating, experiencing, loving, and living, and I want my love and joy to be strong enough to overpower anything that anyone could do to me.
19. The sole purpose of every single day is to show as much love as I possibly can, to spread as much joy as I possibly can, and to bless as many people as I possibly can.
20. Anger, fear, and offense in response to the injustices of the world only add to the problem. Instead, peace for anger, love for fear, joy for offense – that’s what changes things.
If I want to see less suffering, sadness, and pain in the world, I must carry a steady radiance of joy, peace, and compassion in my heart. I create what I am.
21. Heaven is not just a place, it is a state of being that is in harmony with the love and presence of God, and it can be attained anywhere. Its potential is here, all around us, existing as divine love creating our reality. We can choose to accept it, experience it, and create it around us, or to reject it and be blind to it.
“No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God [Heaven] is within you.” [Luke 17:21]
22. Don’t waste your life chasing God as if he is out there somewhere. God meets you, speaks to you, and fills you from within.
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
People talk (and sing) about how they need more of God: another experience, another touch, another “drink from the well.” They forget that you only drink once from the springs of living water, and then you become a spring yourself.
Once you’ve been filled, you don’t need more of God. You already have access to all of God. You need to fully experience what you already have.
23. There is only God, you, and what you believe about your situation. The miracles I have seen and experienced could fill a book. The world is not as we have been led to believe. “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]
24. You create yourself with your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. If you believe you are shy, outgoing, crazy, strong-minded, sickly, healthy, strong, weak, a poor sleeper, a good sleeper, blessed, lacking, empty, fulfilled, depressed, happy, [insert anything here], that’s what you become.
Neuroscience says we can change our personality by changing our thought patterns. Epigenetics says we can change our genes by changing our thought patterns. Decide who you want to be and then create thought patterns that fuel emotions and beliefs that support that vision.
25. Live like your supply is infinite. Give without holding back and don’t worry about having enough. Expect emotional and physical healing, miraculous provisions, answers to questions, solutions to problems when you ask for them, and you will be blown away by the things that happen in your life. Our infinite father is infinitely creating and all we need is available to us in every moment of every day.
26. Love people, be happy, be at peace, give, share, forgive, be brave, believe for miracles, be secure and fulfilled, because that’s who you are. That’s your true nature as a child of God, a manifestation of divine love. Offer that to the world, regardless of what you get back, and let that bring you joy. Let that be enough.
27. You are God’s answer to the prayers of the people around you. Go out and be what you pray for. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Assume it is your job.
28. Don’t give anyone an excuse to say “I was depressed and alone.” Be involved in peoples’ lives. Make the awkward phone call. Knock on peoples’ doors. Bring dinner or flowers. Check in on people. Find out what they need and do it without being asked.
Community is a lost art in this culture, which means that just enough people want to be left alone to make us feel awkward reaching out. Don’t buy it. There are so many people who need help and don’t know how to ask. Elderly neighbors with chores piling up and no family around. Single moms who could use a free babysitter once in a while. People who just need someone to talk to about their problems. Better to annoy a few people (and show them a different way while you’re at it) than to miss someone who needs help.
29. Love people extravagantly. Go over the top celebrating people, caring for people, and making people feel special. People are priceless. You can’t do too much.
30. “Doing what’s right even when you don’t feel like it” doesn’t go deep enough. Our feelings are energy and their effect on the world around us can now be scientifically measured. We have to learn to make our feelings work for us, rather than being controlled by them.
You can’t control your feelings by focusing on them, you control them by keeping a tight rein on your thought life. Scientifically speaking, emotions are embedded in thought patterns. Eliminate negative thought patterns to free yourself from negative emotions that hold you captive. Choose to think about every situation in your life in a way that makes you feel securely loved, deeply happy, and at peace.
What you think about, you feel, what you feel, you are, and what you are, you create around you.
31. Fear is only useful in that it teaches us how to face it. Any time I feel afraid, I am not fully surrendered to love.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” [1 John 4:18]
32. Love is the answer to every situation you will ever encounter in your entire life. No matter how complicated a situation may seem, the answer is simple. God is love, and love is the answer.
Love wins. It is the most powerful force in the universe – more powerful than darkness, hatred, fear, and sin. In the end, love will win in every place, in every time, in every corner of the universe, in every heart. Everything came from divine love and everything will return to it. We can prolong the process or we can be a part of it.
I am loved, and I am love. That’s all I need to know to live a successful life.