Can I Tell You A Secret?
I am not OK.
I mean, I’m OK, but I’m really not. Haven’t been for a while now.
And I go through spells of being great and then feeling awful. Feeling like I’m too much and not enough at the same time. Knowing I can do things, but also having the tiniest bit of doubt in the back of my mind that says I can’t.
And you know what? That is OK. It has to be. You know why? Because it’s something that just is.
I can power through, pull myself up by my bootstraps, keep going through my day as if I am OK, but that won’t make it so. That’s not the way to “fix” it.
The only way to “fix” it is to acknowledge it and learn to be at peace with it.
But how the hell do you do that?
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Because who’s going to if you don’t? We are our own worst critics, and sometimes we have to tell that critic to back off.
Remind yourself that you are wonderful despite your flaws. And you are a “juicy” human being because of them.
That’s a term I got from Pema Chödrön’s The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness. It means that our imperfections are what make our good qualities stand out. They’re part of a necessary balancing act.
Intention is everything, so act with the best of intentions toward yourself and others. But you can’t escape the fact that you are human. You’re gonna make mistakes, you’re gonna get sad, you’re gonna get pissed off.
But it’s part of what you are. Humans are, by nature, flawed. Accept these things about yourself and learn to love what you don’t like.
Give In To It
In line with accepting yourself, surrender yourself to the fact that you are human. Because you can’t change it, you can’t escape it.
So give in to it.
Meditate On It
Meditating will tie the first 2 sections together.
It’s not just about breathing and trying not to think. In fact, only the first part is true. Meditation has the potential to change your subconscious mind.
You allow yourself to sit with your mind and de-stress, learning how to observe the thoughts without running with them. Setting intentions for a practice and then concentrating on that intention, but not trying to force it.
Doing this breaks habitual neural pathways and helps create new ones. If you want to learn more about this, I highly suggest checking out Dr. Joe Dispenza’s website and YouTube channel. He’s written a few books, too.
He’s a scientist that talks a lot about quantum physics, law of attraction, and the mind. I was already experimenting with yoga and meditation, but discovering his material was definitely a turning point for me. Probably because there’s science behind his philosophy.
A great blend of science and spirituality.
Also, if you’ve wanted to try meditation but are intimidated about where to start, you gotta download the Headspace app and go through their basic package…which is FREE. It breaks meditation down to its core elements with guided meditations that you can customize.
I’m doing a minimum of 10 minutes every day, but you can do more or less, depending on where you’re at. It’s all about quality over quantity.
Talk To Someone Honestly About It
We’ve talked about accepting yourself and surrendering to what you can’t control…but what if you’re having trouble recognizing what’s rational and what’s not?
Sometimes, when you’re not ok, the line between the end of life as you know it and another glass of spilt milk becomes blurred. I’m talking seeing-the-end-in-the-reflection-of-said-spilt-milk-and-no-one-is-spared-not-even-the-children type of blurred.
So find a friend, a therapist or a counselor, or a support group, and start talking openly and honestly about the glass of milk that you spilled. If for no other reason than to hear it somewhere besides the context of your brain.
Basically, tell someone and stop driving yourself nuts about it. Hearing it out loud is sometimes enough to clear the clutter. Then your friend can give you fresh solutions or ideas about it.
Listen to Cathartic Music
At times, you just need to be able to have a good cry. Or scream.
Seriously. This goes along the same lines as giving in and surrendering to your humanity.
I can’t tell you how many times my body has just relaxed after a good ol’ weeping session. Holding it in just rots you from the inside out.
Here are a few songs that I love when I need to cry or chill out.
Some of these you may know, some of them you might not. I may go ahead and put together a playlist for you.
Journal About It
One of the reasons why I decided to start a blog is because I love to write. I can’t be without it…can’t live without it. It’s the most cathartic thing I’ll ever do.But even if writing isn’t your whole life, it can still be really helpful when you’re having a hard time.
A journal or a diary can be your best friend when your actual friends or loved ones can’t help you out. Because let’s face it, feelings aren’t convenient. That’s not why they exist, and that’s not how they operate. So they’re there whether it’s a good time or not. And as much as your people love you, they can’t drop everything every time you freak out.
So get yourself a journal and start writing down how you’re feeling, especially when you’re feeling rough. You may even find that you enjoy it and can start documenting when you feel good, too.
Read Some Books
Inspiring books, self-help books, educational books, fictional books…whatever floats your boat, read it.
At the moment, I’m reading a bunch of books about blogging and building a career because that’s what I want to do. But I also love books about spirituality, healing, and philosophy.
Stay tuned tomorrow for another blog post. It’ll be a list of books that I recommend you check out.
Do Things That Soothe You
Sitting in the shower and letting the hot water wash over my face, neck, and back is probably one of the most soothing experiences I’ll ever have. It’s like being safe in a hot, steamy chamber with heavy rain that washes away your troubles.
Total abandon, total relaxation.
Sometimes, I’ll put lavender or mint oil in as the water heats up so that the steam is infused with the oils. Ugh, so relaxing.
You can do this with a bubble bath or Epsom salts, too.
Then, I get out, put on one of my favorite lotions, and kick back while listening to rain sounds. Maybe I’ll even allow myself to fall asleep.
Do Things That Lift Your Spirits
Now that you’ve given yourself time to chill out and relax with the feeling, try going out and having some fun. Or just doing things that will encourage a lighter mood.
Take a walk in the sunshine, or have a Girls Night with your friends. Go out on your own for a cup of coffee and don’t pressure yourself to work or get caught in the hype.
Do things that make you happy and then allow yourself to be.
Perhaps my favorite one on this list (you know, since I’m such an obsessive writer).
I have created some of my best art from a place of anger or pain. Like the journaling, I needed the outlet. But I didn’t want to feel like I was whining or moaning, so I chose to be productive about it and make something people could enjoy.
And something that I could enjoy.
I mean, shucks, I still look back at the EP I did 2 or 3 years ago and think Holy shit… I did that. I remember feeling like crap that day, but look what I did with it.
And as painful as it was at the time, I can always look back at it fondly. Because I took something completely organic and made it into something that enriched the world.
So when you feel like crap, make things out of it. You may just make something that’ll give you (and others) a lifetime of enrichment.
You Are NEVER Alone
Forgive the cliche, but it’s the truth. I wrote this post because I wanted someone to read it and get encouragement from it.
Same reason why I started this blog. It’s just another attempt to create something from my pain that I can be proud of, and at the same time inject some good into the world.
So with all of that being said…how are you feeling today?
You can drop a comment and let me know. OR don’t, because that’s fine, too. But I really want you to think about it.
Most of the time, especially when someone asks you, your answer is, “I’m good”, or, “I’m fine”…
But you know what “fine” is an acronym for, right?
So are you fine or are you F.I.N.E.?