Last week I met a woman, whom I knew from the playground next to my parents house, when I was a kid. I was 10 years old when she saw me the last time and you can imagine how surprised she was to see an adult woman of almost 28 in front of her.
We talked about what happened within the last 18 years and it’s no coincidence that at a certain point we started to exchange intimate experiences and she seemed to be “on the path” and work hard on herself, her relationships and her habits. She experienced lots of hardships in all the years and I also told her about my deep depressions and suicide thoughts, which I had a few years ago, before I made a decision to live a happy life and follow my own heart.
The whole “spiritual path”, which I will re-name in “living a good life as a good person”, is a path full of pain, struggles, worries, concerns and with acceptance of those, full of pure and unconditional happiness and love.
What surprised me the most is, when we had our conversation and I told her how hard it was for me to break through the old habits of dramatizing everything and of swimming in self-pity and self-hatred, she always kept on telling me that she’s not that far yet. Doesn’t matter what she asked me, be it how I quit smoking, how I changed my food habits or how I choose every single day to be the best I can – she was going on with the “I’m not there yet” – talk. And she was looking at me, definitely resonating with every word and told me that her next project would be to quit smoking, to change food habits, to work out more and to practice more self-love and gratitude. That gave me the fuel to think about the following:
Everybody who ever tried to make a big change, knows how hard the first steps are. We invent thousands of excuses, why we can’t do this or that and procrastinate to improve ourselves for months, sometimes even years or lives. And this is the reason, why we become unhappy and why we get depressed, dull, angry, unfriendly and unfulfilled. But how can we kick our own asses, if we think that we’re “not there yet”? How can we shorten this span and “be there” faster?
I’d love to share my thoughts and practices about it:
#1: Accepting where we stand now: There is no “I’m not there yet” or “I’m way to far”. We are there, where we need to be and there’s no other option in the now than that. The understanding of this simple “is-ness” is the best choice we can make, because all the problems magically fade away. If we learn to understand, that it “couldn’t be the other way” and we “couldn’t have reacted differently” – there are no regrets left, right? We did what we did, it happened as it meant to happen. Somebody went out of our lives, because it’s better for us and we have the chance to grow stronger and wiser. We also have the chance to suffer and dive into suicide-thoughts. It’s always a choice everybody can make. Being in the moment is difficult, but if we keep on practicing it, we give ourselves the permission to experience every possible feeling. And by accepting the is-ness of our feelings, we give them space to exist and to eventually disappear…
#2: Being aware of constant change: …Feelings will disappear, because we are in a state of constant change. Everything changes every moment in the universe. Be it the nature, the river, which flows, our cells, our bodies, our minds and thanks god, our feelings and emotions. It’s perfectly cool to experience whatever. In low moments we forget about the change-aspect. The pain seems to stick to us forever. But the pain won’t stay and as much as I can, I try to approach it kind of like (example): “Ok, now I can’t live without him and want to call him, because I think I love him (and hate him! and how could he? and why?) but I know that it will pass away eventually, because I believe in change and want to support myself to take actions which serve my own best. Simply because I love and respect myself.” And the tears won’t run for ever, and the pain won’t stay forever. I promise.
#3: Understanding, that there’s no other time but Now: Since I stopped to focus on time too much, I started to feel the “Now” intensely. I know, that there’s no other time than now, that is why I live moment by moment and always keep in mind, that the moments aren’t unlimited. The sooner we start to live the life we want to live, be it a small, tiny improvement – the better we will feel about ourselves. And the better we feel about ourselves – the higher the quality of our lives, relationships and moods. If I know, what area of my being could be better I do a small step now: texting my mom, to nurture our relationship, going for a walk, to move more, eating nuts and dates instead of some sugar-bomb to balance my sugar craving, meditating 10 minutes a day (even if I want to stick to 2 hours a day) and so on. Small steps give HUGE results. With learning 5 words a day I learned two new languages. With meditating 10 minutes a day, I became much more conscious about myself and much calmer in my reactions. By texting my mom nice words and giving her real hugs our relationship never had been better.
#4; Trusting ourselves first: Often our parents, friends, partners, coaches or therapists give us the feeling, that there is so much work to be done. Mostly they have no idea what we experience and can’t be empathic and sensitive enough to what we feel. But we still trust them, that we’re not there yet and have a long way to go. We trust them and not ourselves. Crazy, isn’t it? We give all the responsibility over the quality of our life-experiences to somebody else and pay them for that. Even if we sometimes wished to be mentally stable, we trust others that we aren’t instead of trying to show integrity and become a mentally stable person. We say, that we’re not there yet, to shake off the responsibility for our happiness from our shoulders.
Changes are never easy and taking real actions on the way to a happy life full of passion, goodwill and love is the hardest way to take, but the most rewarding one. I follow those steps to my own better life day by day and I know that, yes, I’m there day by day. I’m good enough to be there. I’m there where I need to be, doesn’t matter what happens. There are good days and less good days. But I give myself the space to have a happy life and I embrace the moments of loneliness, sadness and low emotional state. They’re inevitable sometimes but they’re not eternal.
We’re always there and we are strong enough to take the so much needed steps towards our own happiness. We know what to do, it’s within us. Always was and always will be. Why don’t we start trusting in ourselves, that we deserve the best life indeed? That we can be happy in spite of the negative self-picture? That it’s us who created this negative picture and we are full of joy, love and happiness already? It’s just a little decision we have to make and stick to it. You are there. I’m there. We all are there.
Never let somebody, included yourself, question it.
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