Monday, 5 August 2013

Do you wish you were 'more sorted'?

Photo by Zach Klein
Time after time, I feel like I'm making a bit of progress .. and then something happens to bring me back down to earth. 'There is still a long way to go. I will never get my life sorted out. Why do I bother even trying? Life is so hard', can easily become the mantra of my mind if I'm not careful, and my perfectionist aspirations take over for a short while. As well as comparisons with my friends who have it a little more together than I do, or at least seem to.

But what if the idea of 'having it all together' is a bit of an illusion? And what, indeed, would it take for me, or anyone else, to be 'sorted'? In my mind's eye, it would probably be something like: be happy and positive most or all of the time, communicate well with others, have plenty of friends, be doing work I love and getting well paid for it, be in the relationship of my dreams, have a nice car and house, be an activist for causes I believe in, know what I should and shouldn't be doing. Yes, then I really would have my shit together :)



MAN, that is quite a list to live up to. In other words, be a semi-perfect person and also be fulfilled by external things. It sounds quite ridiculous really, but before you conclude that I should go and see a psychiatrist, aren't many of us prone to these desires for perfection? And when we fall so far below the perfection line, we can get so disappointed with ourselves. The mind can tell us that we're completely fucked up, that we know nothing, that we ARE nothing, that most people are a lot better at this thing called life ...

STORIES


Picture by John Keogh
We all have our own stories of the ways we are messed up. I have several, most of which stem from childhood. I was a late developer socially which has not been easy in some ways, and was badly rejected in childhood, which left its mark on me. My storylines can play back something like this:

I have no f**king idea how to relate to others. I am just stupid, people will hate me.
I got that wrong. I guess this proves that I don't know anything.
If people knew what I was really like, they would hate me.
I don't want to risk talking to this person in case I say something silly and make a fool of myself.

And as much as I would like to push these thought patterns to one side, they never seem to quite go away :) Perhaps they never will go away. Maybe, just maybe, the answer is not to try and get rid of your demons.

OVERCOMING?

There are a lot of theories on how we should deal with or overcome problems. As you may know, I am a strong believer that different things work for different people. So it stands to reason that not everyone will resonate or believe in what I say. But I am not into either (a) delving so deep into problems that you get even more stuck in them or (b) the 'you can be fully healed' theory.

Open mindedness is key here. It is important to be willing to listen to others and try out things that might work for you. The ideal would be to be a more modern version of Eckhart Tolle - but he is a truly exceptional person and there's no disgrace if you find it difficult to live in the present moment most of the time.

More and more, I am starting to feel that acceptance and ownership of my stories is important. When I get the chatter of 'you're not good enough' in my head, then it is time to allow what I'm feeling, even if I feel a little down for a while. And if people upset me or make me question things .. again, time to allow the discomfort. So often, we try and push the so called 'bad things' away, which makes things even worse.

Also, willingness to change is very important. I have to be honest, I don't really know what is possible to change and not change about yourself. But if I find that stubborn thought patterns persist, it's time to allow them to be there.

Perhaps it's not about 'overcoming' issues, which is what I've been trying to do for a while. Maybe it's about being at peace with them, and accepting yourself. Taking one step forward at a time. Maybe you will take a step back along the way, but it's better to be moving than to stay still.

You may read this and think you're fucked up. Just being honest about this can be a big step forward. Accepting that you're fucked up right now is not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn't mean your problems will disappear overnight, but it is better than fighting against your feelings.

LOVE AND BEING PRESENT


So you feel like your life's a mess? Join the club - we have all been there. And sometimes, even the people you may think have got it all together, don't necessarily. Virtually all of us could wish that things were better, and no-one gets through life unscathed. Problems come about because of something in our past or fear of the future, or resisting what is in our life now. What is in our life now is, in part at least, a reflection of what has happened in the past and the decisions we have made. Being completely blissed out and constantly living in the 'NOW' is not necessarily what life is all about. It's about facing our flaws and hangups. Being present is about facing all of life with an open heart, even though it may not be easy at times.

Wishing your life was 'more sorted' is not being good to yourself. It's time to allow love in .. and by this I mean embracing all that life has to offer .. the good and the bad. There are so many definitions of love .. but love is the opposite of fear .. so what will you choose today?

Many blessings
Andy

1 comment:

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