Over the years I’ve had my own personal bouts of difficulty. It was compounded being in a marriage where all forms of abuse were perpetrated on me and our children at one time or another. Some of those times were so bad I lost myself and my identity for a time. It took perseverance, counseling and hard work to over come where I was at my worst to be able flourish in the face of hardship, just as I would with the good bounty in my life. Because of my past experiences, I am an avid believer in self help, looking within, journaling, exercise and keeping life simple. I reflect often, am introspective, all in the name of living a happy well rounded life. believing your thoughts and feelings can change how you feel/believe, behavior is everything.
When I am feeling down or stressed or even like I can’t cope I read self help FB sites I follow. I focus on their positive messages no matter how small, and keep my eye on what makes me happy, like nature.
For years I have subscribed to Marc and Angle Hack for Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living. Their posts have helped me through some of my saddest moments and hardest days. It’s easy to feel alone in a world that blasts you with so much misleading commercialism, propaganda, and inundation in every aspect of you life.
Constantly we are being told to buy more, be like so and so, or it’s a dream come true and if we don’t have, or live without X we are not good enough.
Our media sensationalizes the unimportant, negating what happiness is and where it comes from, in lieu of the superficial. It even makes it seem like unhappiness isn’t real. Every aspect of life is connected to doing it now, buying it now that it has caused a frenzy of inability to wait and enjoy the moment.
I’ve always been an odd ball when it has come to most of these things, I was raised to use what I have, if it is broken fix it, or why get it if won’t be used often. It was also instilled in me that respecting what you have and taking care of it (whatever it may be) is the true test of self acceptance and not part of ones overall worth as a person. Things are things and have meaning when they have a history with you, but never take for granted people, as things can be replaced. I was taught to appreciate what I had and not worry about what I didn’t.
On the flip side I also believe possessions should be used, enjoyed but taken care of. An article I once read changed my beliefs on “special things”, the article was so eye opening and meaningful that it changed my mind on consumerism and keepsakes.
China is not just saved for holidays but a day of anyone’s choosing, A special keepsake should be used, enjoyed and if broken, let go of emotionally. By using that special item it brought you joy because of the memories it brought back therefor making it special. By keeping it safe you don’t get to have the benefit, that being able to use brings. More stuff doesn’t make you anything but a collector of dusty stuff.
I learned early on to be respectful, show respect and value what I had, because it was worked hard for. Over the years I’ve been the person who saved to buy what I wanted. I knew how to not live beyond my means, or act like credit was an extension of who I was or harbor the belief that it was an extension of my income. I also learned to do without until I could afford it.
My ex liked stuff and for a time it seemed par for the course, however as I became more knowledgeable and my perceptions morphed and changed I had an epiphany, less was indeed more. I wondered to myself why, why was all this stuff so needed, after all it was just stuff. Clearly more stuff didn’t make me feel happier, or give me anything good it actually inundated me in a overwhelming way. After all I had to take care of it even if I didn’t use it.
The core values (our 7 principals) instilled by my religion; Unitarian Universalism, teaches the importance of our inner dependence web of existence. How could I in good faith say I supported our principles and my religion if I indeed didn’t follow our teachings in a meaningful way?
So began an internal journey to follow what spoke to me as a person and what I valued. I went on my own personal crusade to remove what cluttered my mind, soul, personal
space and focus on the natural world around me, and see people in a different way.
In the last several years I have become more authentic in my approach, gentler in my demeanor, happy if not happier in my daily life, more accepting of myself, grown and changed direction on where and what I want my life to represent and look like. Best of all I am comfortable with who I am, how I look, I’m comfortable with me, outgoing and happier than I’ve ever been.
I’ve also come to realize in those same few years how gruelingly hard life can be at time.
No one has it easy. I do not care what our society try’s to imply but the vision it try’s to sell you is warped and wrong. You need to work at what you want, value what you have and appreciate your experiences, good or bad.
Most of all disconnect to the notion of now that is sold to you wherever you turn.
As the author Scott Peck wrote in his book, The Road Less Traveled, life is hard. Don’t expect anything less.