Ok! So this post is going to sound and feel very cliché. Bear with me anyway!
To start off I want to preface that I’m a very empathetic person, a deep feeler, an analytical thinker and on top of that I grew up in the church so I can over-spiritualize everything. I had to say that because I can make things deeper and more complicated when they don’t have to be. Have you ever over analyzed yourself to death? I have and I do nearly every day!
Recently I’ve had to play the “what if” game with myself.
“What if you let go and stop holding on?”
“What if you kept it simple?”
“What if you let things be?”
“What if there’s another way to do things?”
It’s been those small questions that broke the chain of anxious, analytical thoughts and also stubbornness, and allowed me to embrace new ways to live.
I hope some of these lessons I’ve been learning lately will help you too.
I don’t know about you but I have a few bad habits that I’m working on unlearning. Here are a few of them and let me know if you can relate.
I mentally torture myself trying to understand something/somebody. I can’t seem to let things just simply be. I HAVE to ponder and understand why in my head.
“Why do people do what they do”,
“Why am I so tired?”,
“Why am I so angry lately?” I’m not really asking to understand. I just have a bad habit of trying to rationalize everything in my mind. I think a lot of times if you can’t grasp it in your mind then you have to take it to the heart. I feel like certain things must be thought out but also felt out too. It’s important to grab some answers. However, sometimes it’s too much to keep spinning your brain around things that:
1. Just simply are
2. Don’t need that much thought.
3. Can’t be discerned with the head but through the heart.
I feel like if we sit with ourselves long enough that we’ll discover the answers. All of our answers come from within, not from without and that goes into something else that I’ll share with you later.
Back to my point, I’ve been learning lately to simply let things be. I know it sounds cliché but it has saved me a lot more mental/emotional energy.
Let things be and feel it out vs. trying to think it out.
Here’s my second bad habit.
2. I don’t know when to stop and realize when I’m doing too much.
I am for the most part a very independent person. I’m very used to doing things on my own and spearheading through everything. I also believe that I can do everything and anything. Also I know that when I am good at something and I enjoy doing it, that I can overindulge in it. I end up working myself into the ground, becoming loose with my boundaries and I forget to say no. I get so addicted to saying yes that I forget to stop. I’ve actually found that I can neglect my own needs for the work that I’m doing and for the goals I want to accomplish. While that in hindsight is a great thing (when it’s healthy), it can be very damaging when it’s misguided.
Let me be clear that it’s a problem when you don’t know when to stop. I recently had to ask myself the these questions:
“What is the driving force behind why I’m working so hard?” and “Where tf am I going?”
I’m a person that will keep doing so much and forget why I’m doing it in the first place. I also can become a workaholic and not paying attention to my own output. While some of that is inherited through family, it also is very much my own self-developed unhealthy work habits. Even as an artist, one of the goals is to simply “be”. If I’m not careful I’ll fall into the trap of “I have to do more”. I actually just got out of that trap not too long ago. Like many of us, I’m believing the lie that
- If I do more then I’ll feel better about myself
- If I appear to be doing more like my peers then I’ll get to where I am going faster
- If I do more, I will get approval, validation and affirmation
A lot of us are known for the capacities that we can handle at work, home or school. Most have our identities latched to our work ethic. I think most of us find our identities in our emotional, mental, and spiritual capacity. We like being strong and independent. We take pride in it but secretly hate that it has to be like this. I’ll encourage you by saying there are other ways. Unfortunately through life and circumstances, we believe that we have to do it all.
Just because we can handle it all doesn’t mean we’re meant to handle it all.
We have to unlearn the former.
We’re living in a time where we are all running to do so much and it’s mainly because of what we’re seeing on social media. If you scroll all day you'll see people, celebrities and peers that are doing something. We post a lot about our doing but not so much about our being. I know that sounds so corny right? But it’s true.
Two quick questions. No judgment.
1. When’s the last time you did nothing?
When I say nothing, I literally mean nothing. I know for most of us that’s more difficult because of family, school, kids, bills, etc.
2. When’s the last time you cut yourself some slack and gave yourself a break.
For most of us it’s been weeks and damn near months since we stopped and most of us need to be told by someone else to stop. A lot of us end up getting sick or wait for a mental breakdown until we’ve actually stopped. A lot of us have to get so drowned by overwhelming fear or wait until something actually breaks, before we open our mouths for help. We shouldn’t have to get to that point of self-destruction before realizing that we need to stop. We shouldn’t have to get to the place where it’s almost too late to start asking for help.
Are you still with me so far?
If you’re like me then you also don’t even know when you’re doing too much. I take on so much and I don’t have someone telling me that I’m doing too much. That also includes me realizing it for myself. Again just because you can do it all doesn’t mean you have to. I feel like most of us are doing too much as is.
I told you my problems so here’s what I’ve found to help solve them. Ready? It’s super profound.
Stop doing it all on your own. Ask for help. Ask for a break. Stop taking it all on your own because it’s hurting you. Just stop. It’s that simple. Normally I would make it more deep and profound but this time I’m learning that sometimes it really is “that damn simple”. Also here’s a big one. HONOR AND ACCEPT THAT YOU’RE FEELING WHAT YOU’RE FEELING. Aka start validating your own feelings.
You do work hard
You do your best
Yes you are mad
You are depressed
You are worried
You are angry
For my spiritual people and church people, here’s something I’ve learned about stopping.
Spirituality is not about “doing”, it’s about “being”. Right? One of the most spiritual things you can do is find a park, pull up a chair, sit in it and do nothing. We are in a culture where we need to rest, but we also need to learn to stop. Stopping isn’t just about resting and relaxing. Stopping is also about ending the way that we used to do things and trying something new. Healing doesn’t just come from work either, it comes from rest as well. It comes from stopping, analyzing, recognizing, connecting and then unlearning. Just stop.
Remember just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you have to.
Everyone needs help. Including you!
Everyone has feelings. Including you!
Everyone has a breaking point. Including you!
Everyone gets tired. Including you!
Congratulations, you’re human!
These are just some things I’ve learned in my own life recently. My therapist pointed out how I’ve done so much on my own. Everyone needs help, including us but we make it so hard on ourselves. We are patient for others but are ruthless on ourselves. We give everyone else compassion and understanding. Why don’t we give it to ourselves? Why are you making it so hard on yourself? It’s all good, because I do it too.
I’ve been so deep and spiritual throughout my life that I forget how to be real with myself sometimes. My life doesn’t have to be as complicated as I make it. 95% of our pain is self-inflicted in some way. 95% of our problems are problems we cause in some way. We can actually help ourselves when we actually learn to HELP ourselves. That just came to me and I have no clue if that made sense or not.
Case and Point-
Find ways to make it easier on yourself.
Just because you know how to suffer, doesn’t mean you are supposed to suffer all the time.
Detox from the idea that you have to suffer and that life has to be hard all the time.
These are just a few things that I’ve been learning that could help you.
By the way, it's free! I hope I could be of help and that you took something away from my babbling!