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Five Simple Steps to Your Inner Healing
Fill your mind with positive thoughts.
Have you ever wondered how it is that you got so tired, so irritable, so angered easily? Or how you had become bitter than better, a quitter than a go-getter?
In today’s fast world, it is so easy to lose track of our authentic self and vision because of pressure, anxiety, worry and depression as we catch ourselves trying to measure up to everybody else’s standards except our own.
I have seen many people who walk the streets with heads bowed down and stooped shoulders as if they are carrying a boulder, smile at them and they look at you with a “what’s-wrong-with-you” grimace written all over their faces; and have talked with people who negated everything you say. Isn’t this sad? We weren’t created to be lonely, unhappy persons. I believe that we were made to enjoy and enhance the world and not destroy it with the negativity of our spirits.
On the other hand, I have met people who despite of depravity and poverty can churn out genuine giggles that can shame the hyenas, who can rise above their circumstances and laugh about it, who will tell you their heart-wrenching stories without bitterness dismissing their mistakes as lessons rather than punishments. They are people so positive you wouldn’t mind walking under a 102.2 degree Fahrenheit sun with them the whole day that just by their presence makes you feel that “life is no sweat”. These people’s happiness is contagious, in much the same way, negative people’s are.
I can write a hundred stories about men and women who either perceive life as a burden or as gift. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we get rid of the pollution, in both the streets and in our minds? It is always a choice and it is always up to us to change things and our way of thinking. If we wait for anybody else to do it for us, it will not happen because although we can be influenced nobody can change our mindset without our consent.
What’s good about life is that it gives us options!
As we journey along, there will come a time when we will reach crossroads, but no matter what road we choose it’s always how we perceive our circumstances that will make the difference. There is no rough or smooth road; it’s our attitude that matters. Along the way we will stumble but we can either get up or stay down and move backwards. In reality, we cannot move back, life does not rewind itself; it only moves forward, the good thing is, every day is a new day. The life errors we had made cannot be erased but it can be corrected.
So, you made a terrible mistake, gave up a good relationship, severed ties with your family, made a bad career move, got involved in a scandal, failed the board exams, burned the toast or spilled the milk, literally hundreds of them every day in a lifetime. Every one of those mistakes count. Oh yes, it does, that is all part of the journey.
The reasons why life is cruel at times may not be evident while you are crying your eyes out of regret and wallowing in self-pity or spending endless hours talking about how miserable you are but in the end it has a reason for being. Life has a wonderful way of surprising us and by then, you will know why things happened as they did. Breathe and just go through the process courageously.
Only you can really help yourself out of a situation of unhappiness or depression or misery.
- Accept your life, together with your weaknesses and failures; it is all part of who you are, your story. Each of us is unique in that way.
- Get tired of complaining. I have talked with many people who complain about their circumstances and blame their environment, their parents, their religion, their school, that if I continue to listen to them I am afraid they might start blaming me too. If you catch yourself doing this, stop mid-track. Can you imagine yourself talking like that in a week, a month, a year, in five years? As in other things, practice makes perfect but this is one area where you don't want to get a high grade for.
- Don’t get stuck! Nothing will change unless you change. Some would rather sit and wait for things to get better to make them feel better. Sadly, some took a lifetime. If you want something to be different you have to do something different.
- Turnaround your circumstances to make them beneficial for you. The desert people thrive because they have accepted that the desert is a harsh place with no probability of rain, so they discovered ways to work around with what they are given for their survival.
- Stop comparing. The concept of a perfect life is only a matter of perception. One may live in a palatial house and feel miserable while another may live in a shanty but feel happy. Comparing yourself with how others are or live will get you nowhere except drown you either in depression, apathy or envy.
2) List 10 things that you love about yourself.
- Look in the mirror. Start with what you see as beautiful in you physically. It can be your eyes that smiles as you smile, or your nose that is finely-chiseled, or your lips that is perfectly contoured, it can be an even-toned skin or well-curved body, or long legs. Those are physical endowments that you were born with. You did not have to work hard for them. It is a gift of the universe to you.
- Look in that mirror again. Contemplate on what you love about your personality, it could be that you are witty, or generous, or soft-spoken, or that you play a mean Beethoven recital piece. Natural or learned, it encompasses who you are.
Everyone has a gift, a talent, an asset whether physical or mental.
3) 50 Meters Away!
- Stay away from people who put you down. If you have low self-esteem, negative remarks can be devastating. The least you wanted now are people who tells you that you are not worthy of enjoying the great things in life. You have as much right as them to claim anything that makes you genuinely happy.
- Don’t associate yourself with people or things that will pull you further down. I am talking about drugs, alcohol, gambling or any other form of vice. Stop your thoughts right then and there when it crosses your mind. The more you entertain it, either in thought or material form, the more it becomes a probability. Heed to the inner voice that tells you “No”.
4) Nurture Yourself.
- Make a list of 10 things that you want to do for yourself. Pick one and do it.
- Go ahead indulge. You’ve worked hard to survive, it is but fitting that you give yourself a present. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be that simple necklace you have been eyeing since time immemorial but couldn’t get around to buying, or that cotton shirt you have always sworn to buy but didn’t. Think of it not as an expense but as an investment, a symbol of your healing. In time it will remind you of your struggles and how you overcame it.
- Take a trip. As Henry Miller puts it, “One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Whether it’s to another town or city, or to another country, distance is not relevant but the change of pace and place will help usher in positivity, albeit if the trip is temporary. We gain a better perspective when we are outside a situation. The freebie is that we might stumble upon new discoveries about ourselves.
5) Say thank you.
- Your first word in the morning should be “Thank you” said as a prayer. This simple practice, if done daily gives therapeutic results.
- Gratefulness makes you recognize the things that you already have but you had taken for granted. It makes you smell the aroma of the coffee, the clean scent of the bath soap on your skin, or the delicious look of butter melting on your toast, or notice the neighbor’s beautiful Annabelle hydrangea that lines your path on your way to work. Simple everyday things that makes life amazing.
- Your last word before sleeping should be “Thank you” as well. Saying those words before you close your eyes gives you a sense of comfort and security. It makes you look forward to another day with a positive mindset.
The place, the people and the circumstances we were born in is a given in our lives. These are things that we do not have control of, it is like receiving a present that you do not want and have no choice but accept. You can either throw it away loathing the giver for not knowing what you want or you can appreciate the gift, thinking about the possibilities you can do with it. It is your life, you have the ability to create or re-create the person you are. That ability is probably one of the best gifts life has given each and every one of us. Use that gift and enjoy your life!