Your cure is within you, yet you do not sense it! Your sickness is from you, yet you do not see it! You consider yourself a small body; yet encapsulated within you is the entire universe.Quote by Imam Ali RA
A good friend of mine shared this with me today and this is absolutely beautiful. We come into this world on our own and we leave this world on our own. Sure our family and friends are there but the majority of our time is spent alone.
We spend a lot of our time thinking in our heads. We have happy thoughts and sad thoughts. There are moments where we feel great. We are ready to take on the world. There are moments where we feel useless. We just want to hide from the world. There are moments where we feel big and powerful. There are moments where we feel small and worthless.
In my opinion, there will always be positive and negative feelings…emotions that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Depending on our mental state, some people have an easier time while others don’t.
There are a number of things that I do to help me deal with the negative thoughts and emotions that I go through. I am aware that these are unhealthy thoughts but I can’t help feel and think these thoughts and emotions. All I can do is try to deal with it the best way I can. I believe therapy is the best way to do this but until I go get therapy I try to cope/deal with them the best I can.
1 – Forgive yourself
Making “mistakes” is inevitable. Straying off your routine is bound to happen. We as humans are designed to make “mistakes”. We are designed to fail. We are also designed to persevere when we do fail. To be able to get back up after making a “mistake” or missing a workout is important. In order to do that you need to forgive yourself and move on. If you dwell on your shortcomings you’re going to be stuck in this rut. You will hold yourself back. You won’t love yourself and it’ll make life harder than it already is. Forgive yourself when you make a mistake and move on.
2 – Empathy
We tend to be more empathetic towards others than we are to ourselves. Think about it. When you miss a workout you tend to be harsh on yourself. You call yourself useless and fat. You beat yourself up about it. When a friend comes to you and complains how they missed a workout you tend to be more supportive. You tell them things like “It’s ok to take a break” or “You’ll get back at it tomorrow.” We tend to criticise ourselves very harshly. What I’ve tried to do is to talk to myself the way I would talk to my friends, with empathy. I’ve been trying to be less harsh towards myself.
Hold yourself to the same standards that you hold your friends to. There’s a hypocrisy in the way we act. We pretend that the standard we have set for ourselves is much higher while for our family and friends is much lower. Why do we do that? Shouldn’t the standards be the same? Isn’t that why we call them standards?
The reason why we hold our family and friends to a lower standard is because we look at them with empathy. We understand how life gets in the way. We understand how lack of sleep can be detrimental. However, when it comes to ourselves these excuses become unacceptable. Our ego pretends that we are better than the rest of them and in return we are very harsh on ourselves. That becomes more damaging than helpful.
3 – You hold the power
You are not helpless. This is what the quote above pertains to in my opinion. It is important to remind ourselves that we are not helpless. We hold the power. If we want to change, we have to put in the effort and change. We have to mould ourselves. We have to focus on the things we have control over. There is no point in thinking about things out of your control. Realigning your focus on things you have control over helps by changing the task at hand into a more manageable and less overwhelming tasks. It helps you come out of the victim mentality where you feel like everything is someone else’s fault rather than your own. Once you are able to come out of that mind-set, you start taking charge of your life. You start controlling and changing things within your control. Before you know it, you’ll be on the way.
4 – Rationalise the negative thoughts and feelings
This is a huge one that I struggle with on a daily basis. One of the absolute worst thoughts I have, that I’m assuming many others do as well (if not…oops), is I think people don’t care about me or love me. I tend to get disheartened when I don’t get a reply to a text message. I feel unloved when plans get cancelled or people hang out without me. I know I need therapy for this. From what I’ve read my behaviour is as a result of childhood trauma. Don’t really know how to STOP having those negative thoughts and feelings. Maybe they never stop. I don’t really know.
Instead what I try to do, to cope with this is rationalise those negative thoughts and emotions. I start with reminding myself that everybody has a life. They are busy doing other things. They are probably too busy to respond as I am when I get busy. That does not mean that they do not love me. If they did not love me, they would not be my friends. Once I remind myself of these things, most of the times, those thoughts and feelings go away. Sometimes I’m just lonely and would like to hang out with someone but since no one is free so you occupy yourself with other things.
5 – Look at things with Love
I try to look at every possible situation from a place of love. If I put on those “lenses” and look at the world from that perspective, suddenly, all of life’s problems disappear. My friend didn’t reply to me. I could choose to believe that they are ignoring me and hate me. I could choose to look at it from a place of love. They are probably busy and will reply when they are free. I am useless. I can choose to believe that or I can remind myself that I have accomplished so many things in life. A friend of mine has achieved something amazing. I can choose to be jealous of their success or I can choose to congratulate and support them reminding myself that their success does not take anything away from who I am.
I have noticed that when you’re first instinct is to come from a place of love or to look at things as an optimist you tend to be happier. All those negative thoughts disappear and you feel great again. I will talk about love on its own separately. Try to look at everything from a place of love.
These are a couple of things I do to try to keep loving myself. I try to remind myself of my worth to myself. I try to forgive myself. Obviously these are no substitutes to therapy but hopefully it helps knowing that you’re all alone. We are all in this beautiful messed up situation together.
The most important thing to remember is to Keep Loving. Love yourself. Love others. Love everyone and everything.