Every person has a fear. Of heights, of needles, of spiders, of the dark, of elevators– the list goes on, but there are fears that are worse than others, those that manipulate a peron’s way of life.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who admits her fear of growing old alone and unloved. It sprang from a topic that was so typical it was almost mundane: sibling rivalry. I say this is mundane because I come from a family that is very much prone to hypocrisy and self-righteousness (nevertheless, they are family), but this tale of family feud is another banana.
Blogs with overflowing teenage angst that proliferate on the World Wide Web are proof enough of the world’s increasing population of the estranged. Teenagers who are unable to find their place in their homes are driven to depend on their friends and/or lovers to fulfill the need for emotional attachment. (Been there, done that.) But when you have gone past the age of adolescence and you still seek the approval of others for self-fulfillment, then it becomes less pathetic but more real and more scary. Wisdom grows directly proportional to age, but truth be told, a third variable sometimes forces itself to grow with the other two: indolence, which inverses the first equation. For the group of people who holds on to this longer formula, day by day, their tendency to settle becomes stronger.
My friend claims she is a little too plump and a little to short than the average lady, she fears she will never find another person who would love her for the way she is. Therefore, she is settling for what is possibly the mediocre choice. Her words translate to insecurity, doubt, and low self-esteem. But I do not believe that she actually has enough reason for these uncertainties. Regardless of the kind of slump we are in, we can only choose to either settle or make changes. And if you are unhappy with your current state, it only makes sense to choose the latter, so you raise your head up, and you move forward.
You accept the fact that there might be something wrong. With the recognition of the problem, along comes the recognition of better ways– this is the first step, but what is even more crucial is when you have to start acting on it. Indolence hates nothing more than change, because with change, we are forced to make an effort to adapt. And most people, they do not want to make an effort.
I am confounded by individuals who complain about problems with obvious solutions. I am too fat, I wish I was thinner. I wish I can be as pretty as the girl next door. Instead of calling yourself names and drowning in your self-created misery, focus on things that actually make sense. And wouldn’t diverting your focus also make more sense? Do not dwell on things that make you unhappy. You are fat, and you wish you were thinner and prettier? Then, become thinner and prettier. Do something about it. Make choices that make sense. Move forward!
Get to know yourself. Find out your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you are capable of. Love yourself. It feels good to appreciate oneself. And once you are able to do all these things, you learn how important your existence is, and you start planning for your own personal growth. Then, you start doing things that make you happy. You become less dependent of others to feed your need for self-fulfillment. You stop chasing and pleasing people for their approval. You start choosing quality over quantity. You find out that you don’t really need an army of friends to become happy; you only need yourself and those few who care enough to consciously help you become that better person.
We seek happiness, but we must not settle for the wrong reasons. To quote Heraclitus, nothing endures but change. Nothing is permanent, everything is dispensable. But it is up to you which of them to keep the longest, from material things to people, from emotions to thoughts. But never make yourself believe that there are things you cannot live without.
Do your best not to return to your old habits. Let your old self and old choices teach you lessons, but do not let them define the rest of your life. You will only destroy yourself. Looking back is not bad. We may slip from time to time, but it is part of the process. You will struggle. But struggling is good, it is a sign of progress. It means you are trying to find your way out of the slump.
Of course, all these are easier said than done. But whoever said life was easy? Even I am still in the process of moving forward, great changes do not happen overnight. I still have to remind myself sometimes that I am not the better person I want to become just yet, that there is still so much more to learn about myself. Once you grow up, it stops being just a choice to take control of your own life– it becomes an instant responsibility. But a responsibility to yourself and not to anyone else. So do yourself a favor and be happy– it makes more sense anyway.
Today’s lesson: Please refer to the entry above.