You might be lost, you might be confused, your life might feel like it lacks meaning, but you’re still purposeful. Maybe you aren’t doing as well as you thought you’d be doing by now, everyone around you looks like they’ve found their mojo, the world seems to be moving faster and further without you … but just remember, you’re still purposeful.
Loads of people ( including yourself) find you annoying, you have an extreme case of butter fingers when it comes to handling important things like relationships and the lens you borrowed from your mate, people talk over you in group conversations but you’re still purposeful.
Hope is never all lost. Hope is simply hiding and if you’re reading this book, you’re ready to find it!
Save some love for yourself.
Allowing other people to be time- killers while running away from the responsibility of loving ourselves happens to everyone, but it should be avoided. It always ends in emotional disaster. Nobody is ever going to be able to fill your you- shaped hole for you. No, not that hole. The gaping hole we all have inside that deeply craves validation, love and comfort.
It just won’t work. You’ve got to be fond of yourself enough to support yourself emotionally regardless of the intimate company of someone else. Loving yourself does not make you vain or conceited as long as you have respect for other people.
The world loves to paint confidence in a terrible light because to be confident means to be self- sufficient. This is a threat to a world built on a multi- billion- dollar industry that tells you that you aren’t doing you ‘ right’. Find your own sense of this, and the rest will follow.
Life is going to kick you in the balls for no reason.
And the key is how you deal with it. It’s easier to blame yourself than it is to accept that sometimes life just needs to go wrong now for things to go well later.
Healing hurts. Being kicked in the balls hurts. Being ignored hurts. Sometimes everything just hurts and you don’t know why.
As kids, we were always taught: if you want the wound to heal, don’t touch it! Why? Because as good as it feels to scratch that painfully itchy scab, as good as it feels to ask that question you know you won’t like the answer to, it only prolongs the healing process because you’re shifting the scab out of place. Apply this to recovery from a traumatic event and notice the similarities in the damage done each time you revisit a scenario you wish you had had control over, then proceed to blame yourself for being ‘ stupid’. It hurts, doesn’t it? You reach a point where you don’t even know what hurts more: the trauma or your disappointment in yourself. The thing about healing is, it’s a process.
There will be times where you’ll self- loathe, there will be times where you’ll be so over it and there will even be times where you’ll be sat for ages psychoanalysing every possible micro- event that led up to the event itself. You aren’t crazy.
You’re human. Analysis, regression and regret are just as important as acceptance, forgiveness and forgetting. Every stage of the process, no matter how painful, matters. But if you really do want to grow past the pain, stop picking at the wound and just trust that it WILL heal one day. Everything you feel, no matter how deep or shallow, is temporary.
If you ever catch yourself slipping back into despair, remind yourself of what Alan Watts says: ‘ Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. ’
Boredom is the ideal breeding ground for bad decisions.
A lot of regrettable scenarios can be avoided if you just buckle down, focus on your goals and try not to give in to temporary temptations that will only distract and delay you from achieving the things you deserve. The biggest mistake you can make is to allow yourself to get sidetracked by people who will never be willing to stay with you during the storm they create in your life through their own selfi shness.
It’ doesn’t really get better. You do.
At some point, you finally ‘ get over it’. All of it. It stops keeping you awake at night. It stops giving you panic attacks. It stops reminding you of how out of control you really are of the world around you. Instead, getting over it reminds you of how in control you are of how you choose to interpret your experiences. It also reminds you that change will only ever create one thing: more change. So it’s time we stopped fearing it and started being open to it. The fear of change is what delays growth.
Sometimes, bad stuff needs to ‘ happen’ to us in order for us to be equipped with one more nugget of wisdom which can end up being the most priceless thing you can discover by yourself. Bad stuff is going to keep happening because everything about life revolves around balance, so the best we can do for ourselves is to constantly carry the mindset that no pain ever goes to waste if you let it teach you.
If love doesn’t teach you, loss will.
Beautiful things land in our lives whether we are ready to receive
them or not. Love never seeks permission. Love just turns up unannounced. And if you fail to welcome it with warm arms and an open heart, prepare yourself or a lesson from the greatest teacher of all:
Quit over- explaining.
The world is still going to judge you. Do not create expectations you know you cannot live up to.
People still find a way to judge. When you die, nobody is going to remember you as the person who made sure they pleased everyone and silenced their self. The world does not care. We are all going to die. You do not exist to meet somebody else’s standards. The only standards worth meeting are your own.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to do it.
The scariest part of the process is starting. Starting is scary because it’s new. And anything new comes with a set of possibilities. Possibilities scare us because there will always be outcomes we can’t control. But part of setting healthy expectations for yourself is to focus on what you can control.
Finish being where you are first. It will all make sense later.
Don’t let your kindness kill you.
Sometimes, fixing looks like shrinking. You make yourself smaller to give the other person more room to grow. Other times, fixing looks like fighting. You try the tough love approach but it’s only met with friction, which becomes distance, which eventually morphs into apathy. No matter how pure your intentions are, you cannot make someone meet their self. Your kindness gets taken the wrong way when you think you’re helping, but don’t realise that you are actually causing damage.
Minding your business is the new black. Try it. I’m sure we can all remember a situation where we thought we were doing good, only for the person we were doing it for to turn around and attack us. If you ever find yourself in a scenario where your kindness gets you in trouble, redirect that energy to yourself. You need you more than anybody else could ever need you.