How to keep it alive through the storms of life?
What is it about you, that is the real you? I’ve met many folks who say “You haven’t changed!” I take it as a big compliment. It is confirmed by the fact that persons I’ve met after many years, still recognize me.
I can thank God who helped me in remaining mainly the same. Or the fact that my father once advised me during a bad patch, “Be careful that you do not allow these things to damage you!” And then I realized how and why my father had kept himself so completely strong through two major wars of Pakistan, the ’65 and the ’71 war. He came out of it, with his sense of humor fully intact. I guess, that is what he was telling me to do too.
I realized that it is a conscious effort on one’s own part. That deep down a decision is made by you, to not allow the complications and ‘unbearable’ circumstances damage you in such a way, that when those circumstances have changed for the better. You are no longer the same. You got all screwed up inside. Permanently. No! That must not happen.
So, how to do it? How to keep the essence of yourself alive and fresh through the hardships of life? I’ll give you the other example of my mentor the artist Mansoor Rahi, “when people start talking against someone, or talk negatively, I switch myself ‘off’ from that conversation and start thinking about beautiful scenes of mountains and valleys.” So, that’s another way out.
To avoid getting damaged, try the following:
- Define yourself. Your personality, and the things you love to do. Name the things/people/places/ activities/ thoughts which make you feel your best.
- Define what really saps you. There are people and places that make you feel like a block of wood or totally fatigued and miserable. Only a few minutes can do it. It is so obvious. …. Run for your life! Sometimes you are stuck with it, then liberate yourself in your mind. Don’t be there. (As a teacher, I’ve known students who are mentally not there.) We all have done it. It is good if it is saving you from a total eclipse!
- Put more activities in your day which make you feel great. Organize your time, so you spend longer periods of time doing things you love. Afterwards you will be ready to do the mundane but important things of your life too.
- Make an effort to meet those persons who matter to you. The most typical words I hear are ‘there is no time’. It is true. But who decides that? Yes, you!
- Take control of your life. Be proactive. Every night or early morning, make your ‘to do’ list and put in all those things you want to do. Every night check it out. Find out why you couldn’t do it, and try out another way to do it next day. You should know that you will be after yourself, till you have done it. It may take a day, or it may take a year. Remain persistent.
- Address issues and throw them out. Have a clean heart, and make a clean start. When something is pinching you, address it, and chuck it out. Don’t harbor grudges, and miseries. Do what needs to be done. And be done with it.
- Start fresh with a clean slate. Forgive and forget, start with a very clean heart. Be like a child. Why do we love them so much? They are so ready to trust and have such a refreshing approach to life. What did we gain from holding all those memories, anyways?
- Know, that you will be hurt and tried again. Just accept it. The next exam will be having a different subject, so holding on to all your theories might not be all that effective,- Mr. Know it all! So, just enjoy the good parts of your life. And use this time to get stronger. As Dr. Phil says: “ You will get hurt again. “ So, don’t think that if you stop trusting people, now onwards things will get better.
- Stop following others’ life styles, and build your own. Be the captain of your own ship. Make your own rules about how you live your life, and how you dress and how you do things. Do them your own way. Whatever clicks or works for you.
- Go with the flow, avoid rocking the boat. Perhaps this is where you were meant to be anyways. So, chill out and take your breaks within your own circumstances instead of wishing for the moon and sun to be at a certain position before your life will get better!
“Jaisi bhi hai, aisi hi hai!” (this is the way it is, might as well accept it!)
Thanks for your time, stay blessed.