While I say don’t beat yourself up, I’m not trying to lecture any of you reading this. Other than writing for my readers, sometimes I need to put some words out there just to emphasize things to myself. I let my hands teach my mind (not scientifically speaking).
Today my mother made a comment and it hit me hard. I had to sort of agree with her on that.
2016 is a new year, it’s just another year, but every new day is an opportunity to learn and grow, let alone a new year.
I did (or didn’t do) some things recently which I’m not so proud of and I felt miserable and horrible about it. Thoughts flooded my brain within milliseconds –
“Your mother is right”
“Is this how you want to start the new year?”
“Is this how you want to spend all year?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Why would you even do this? You knew you shouldn’t have”
“Now there’s nothing you can do. Bear it. Suffer. Who told you to do it, at all?”
“What you did was absolutely wrong. You can’t take it back now.”
Stop. It’s OKAY. It’s not the end of the world. So I made mistakes. That’s fine. It’s okay. I’ll correct my mistakes. Even if I can’t, I learnt from it. I won’t repeat the mistakes. Or maybe I will. But I will try again. And that’s okay. I’m not going to beat myself up for it. Everyone makes mistakes. Small or big, they’re mistakes. Bad choices. But I learn from them. I grow.
We grow. We learn. As long as we keep striving to learn and grow, we are and will be just fine. We don’t have to get it right every single time. Sure, that would be great. But it does not have to be that way. In fact, I don’t think there are rights and wrongs. Don’t judge yourself and don’t let other people’s judgments or statements affect you.
So you’re depressed? Don’t do that. Don’t label yourself as a depressed person. Don’t label your feelings and emotions. Don’t label, period. Yourself or anyone else. Half the work is done there. When we label, we give importance to that emotion or thought and raise it to another level. Then it doesn’t remain an emotion or feeling or thought. You become it. Feeling depressed changes to ‘I’m depressed’. Feeling sad changes to ‘I’m sad’. Feeling lonely changes to ‘I’m a lonely person’. No you’re not. Don’t do that to yourself. Do not do that. Don’t put yourself down.
I’ve struggled years and years under the weight of judgments and labels and words and guilt and shame and what not. Yes, people say and do things. And that affects us. We let it affect us because they do not enter our mind and generate a thought or emotion with their hands. We generate thoughts and emotions ourselves. When I came across this concept I was stunned. Because I realized that I was blaming my ‘misfortunes’, moods, negative thoughts and emotions on other people.
“She said this. How could she!?”
“He said he would do this. He didn’t. Why didn’t he? I don’t understand. Why?”
There are no answers to those questions. People do things. Say things. They make choices. They are responsible for what they do and say, just how we are responsible for how we respond and if we let it get to us.
If we do not pay attention, if we do not be alert, we start abusing ourselves. Those inner dialogues in the head, the guilt, the shame, the bitterness – what is it, if not self abuse?
How can we expect others to ‘treat us right’ if we can’t do what’s best for ourselves?
We need to take it easy. Give yourself a break. And there is no need to go on a holiday for that. Just close your eyes and stop thinking for once. If that’s not possible, let the thoughts run around, but don’t entertain them. Just observe them and let them go. There’s a saying: Let it go in from one ear, and out from the other. Do that with the thoughts in the brain. As the thoughts keep generating, put them in the bin. They will slow down by themselves. Thoughts and emotions are like living entities. They want attention. They want to exist. Like virus in the body. They just want to exist. Don’t give them power.
It’s difficult. Seems impossible. But it doesn’t have to be done in a day. Everything takes practice.
Sometimes we just need to take one step at a time. One second at a time. One thought at a time. One emotion at a time.
Face the thought. Face the emotion. Tell it you don’t need it. And walk away. From that negative thought. From that negative feeling. And into some place lighter, maybe not perfect and completely positive and cheerful. But it’s the place with one less negative thought and one less negative emotion.
One step at a time.