Life is an amazing journey of ups and downs and turns in every direction. While we may take 5 steps forward, we most always end up taking a few steps back, that is just life, and that is okay. In the process of healing, healing from self-harm, bad relationships, a breakup, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, compulsions, perfectionism, the list goes on and on, it is crucial to build a foundation of knowledge and self-acceptance.
It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way. There are a few things to incorporate into your life, from this day forward, and here are 7 of them.
1. Stop taking things personally.
I used to get offended by facial expressions, things people never even said but I imagined that is what they were thinking, things that were said and I twisted to find the hidden meaning in the simple words. Finding inner peace, balance, and joy is not possible if we are hanging on every word or action of other people. When someone treats you poorly, it is a reflection of their poor attitude, not yours. When someone is rude to you, you have no idea what they are going through, or what their life is like, so don’t take it personally. When someone says something that could be hurtful, I remind myself of the truth, and that is they are hurt trying to hurt others, and I just happen to be in their path, then move on with my life.
2. Commit to being yourself, no matter what.
If you ponder life and human nature, it is quite fascinating actually. We can morph into many different characters throughout the day depending on who we are around or what we are doing. While this is a useful skill to have, it is important to be rooted in “yourself”. I used to try to be accepted by everyone, but in that, I lost myself. I finally came to a place where I said here I am world. Take it or leave it. If someone does not like me for me, every part of me, the quirky, sometimes spastic, yet loving and caring person I am, then oh well, I do not want them in my life. Meditation helps tremendously for self-acceptance and developing a strong sense of self.
3. Be decisive.
It is easy to be indecisive. I see it all the time, especially at work. I see individuals struggling to decide which area to sit in, what chair to use, what to drink, if they want a refill, what to eat, if the food tastes good, if they want something else, etc… While occasionally not knowing where you want to eat or go is understandable, struggling to make any decision at all about every little thing in life is no way to live. It leaves the door open for other people to control your life. Being decisive takes practice, like a muscle it needs to be exercised to be strengthened, but it is worth the effort.
4. Stand for something.
Not having an educated opinion about different life aspects leads to being tossed around by every person and idea. Stand for something, have opinions, if you do not have opinions or a cause you stand for, every time you read something, hear something, see something, ask yourself what you believe about that and why. Find a passion you are interested in and educate yourself about the topic. If someone has differing views, that is okay, but agree to disagree. Stand for something, so you do not fall for everything.
5. Change your thinking.
Complaining. Worrying. Negativity. Half glass empty. Deep sarcasm. Gets you absolutely nowhere good in life. If a negative thought comes up, immediately replace it with a positive life giving word or phrase. It does not feel comfortable or natural at first, but it gets easier. Life starts to change when we intentionally change the way we think. It’s an easy way out to blame our past experiences and continue living in a torture cell of our own imagination and thoughts. It takes courage and strength to become determined to change our life by changing our thoughts.
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a life-saving resource when it comes to changing thoughts. Switch On Your Brain is just one of her many books that changed my life. I still do the 21-day brain detox to optimize my thought life every new day, month, and year.
6. Detox your life.
Declutter an area of your house every week, or every day whichever you decide works for you. Put one thing, either an article of clothing, shoes, trinkets, something else in a sale or donation pile. Get rid of those things that no longer serve you or bring you happiness.
While being there for someone is important, it not our job to fix or save someone, we are not God, let’s stop acting as if we are. If someone in your life is toxic, cut them out. Life is too precious and too short to accept negative toxic people in our lives. If someone constantly criticizes you, puts you down, disrespects your boundaries and ideas, drags you down instead of building you up, or makes you feel insecure or less of a person, it is time to let them go or create distant.
7. Love and be loved.
After being hurt, let down, deceived, played, or taken advantage of, it is easy to stop loving people or accepting love. I put everyone in a box and labeled them as I saw fit. I built walls to protect myself. I never let anyone close to me. I stopped loving myself and others. I was convinced every person is the same, in one way or another. Selfish. Evil. Scandalous. Deceitful. Yet that is not true. Once I started to tear down those walls and let people in, to my surprise, I found some awesome people. While many people are not good people, many people are. It is about being discerning and giving every person a fair chance, while still having boundaries.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness” -Kurt Vonnegut