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43 Lessons From 43 Years



They say life begins at 40. I think that's true in many ways.  I turned 43 last week, and while life is still, well, life, it’s easier and better in ways I didn’t know it could be when I was younger. 


Here is a sneak peek of the first 7 of the 43 lessons I’ve learned over the past 43 years. These insights have changed the way I feel about myself and how I engage in the world. I’ve learned to create healthy relationships and to navigate life’s challenges in positive ways. Hopefully, some of these will help you, too! You can read the rest on my Substack! https://caitlinscouch.substack.com/


  1. Always trust your gut; any time you don’t is a time you’ll regret later. I spent a long time ignoring my gut feelings (especially regarding dating and relationships), which means I spent a long time ignoring myself. I dismissed the part of me that was trying to guide me, protect me, and keep me safe. After getting hurt over and over again, I vowed never to ignore myself again. Now, whenever I have a feeling or hear a tiny voice deep within telling me something is off, I listen and trust it. My gut instinct is my guide. I don’t need proof beyond that feeling or voice. I trust myself without question. Each time I choose to trust my gut is an act of self-love.

  2. I always have a choice.I used to make choices from a place of guilt. I used to feel bad about putting myself first. Later I’d feel resentful or blame others for pushing me into something I didn’t want to do. That doesn’t lead to healthy relationships. It doesn't lead to high self-esteem, either. Now, I know that I am in charge of my life. I may not like my choices, but I know I always have them. I know that no one else is responsible for the choices I make. As a result, I created a healthier relationship with myself and others. 

  3. There’s a lot we don’t know we don’t know.Never stop looking for more knowledge. Never stop looking for help. Never stop being curious. 

  4. Nature is medicine.Spending lots of time in nature is healing and replenishing. It teaches us how to be curious and supports our ability to reconnect with our inner child.

  5. Boundaries lead to freedom and closeness, not limits and distance.

  6. Self-soothing is a life changing skill to develop. Having healthy relationships is hard when you’re constantly reacting and reactive. It’s important to soothe your nervous system and take time to think about things before you react. That way you can gain clarity and choose how you want to handle things. 

  7. Familial relationships are the hardest and most complex relationships.We’re told they should be the easiest and best. When that’s not true, we feel like we’re the only ones who missed out on an idyllic family unit. The truth is that every family has dysfunction. No family is idyllic, and most familial relationships are challenging. Remember, you don’t choose your family. They’re the people you got stuck with and tasked to relate to and get along with. Over the course of a lifetime, that is challenging for everyone.

Read the other 36 lessons on my Substack: https://caitlinscouch.substack.com/p/43-lessons-from-43-years

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