The older we get, the more baggage we carry with us. But it is the people we meet on the way, the experiences we have and the way that we handle things that shape us into who we are. But no matter what phase in life we are in or how much we have lived already, the one thing that defines us in any present moment is:
How we feel about ourselves
How we treat ourselves
And consequently, how we behave
A lot of times I would think back and remember how happy and willing to help anybody and everybody I was when I was younger. What I don’t remember is also how timid I was and socially awkward. If you begin to become aware of anything that concerns you:
– talk to friends; you might not expect that someone close to you might be going through similar struggles that you are;
– seek professional help;
– find expressive art forms that might help you deal with the things you’re going through.
In anything you do, appreciate who you are, rather than hurt yourself. If your struggles are too big to handle, also be willing to surrender to help.
I have had a fair share of issues and private talks with myself throughout my life. Some I have solved easily. For some, I needed more external support and guidance. Some have been small. And others have spiraled out of proportion. But there is always a way of finding the solutions that are beneficial to you.
1. I’ve had an adolescent crisis when I refused to eat much – anorexia.
I must have loved myself too much; since only one remark from my strict mom made me realize that I’m making a huge mistake trying to starve myself instead of fueling my body right for next big athletic accomplishments.
I’ve always had stronger thighs which I don’t like about myself, but the moment I started to embrace them as strong and muscular. I also began fueling them to have a visible muscle definition. I started to love myself more as a whole and love people, things, and experiences around me equally much.
2. I’ve had a crisis of feeling alone when I went to study abroad. After two months when the initial excitement dozed off, I’ve found myself lost a little.
I could talk it through quickly with older friends who went through similar experiences years before – that is why being open about your feelings might help you find instant help. Just make sure that friends who share your concerns with are people who you really trust.
3. And I’ve had an identity crisis after having a baby.
Which wore off as the baby grew and I started to delegate my free time (when he’s napping or sleeping) to things that really matter to me and things that make me a better person.
My advice would be that in any case when you’re starting to feel helpless, turn to seek help for it. Most likely is the society that teaches us that we get defensive of how others perceive us. For example, when we fall in public, the first thing we are concerned about is whether anybody had seen us. We like to be in control of what others think of us. But that is the one thing we cannot control. If you own what you do, there should be no situation making you uncomfortable. Be comfortable in your own shoes and have the self-respect to maintain that confidence. Do things that fill you with excitement and hang out with people who support you.
When you look in the mirror, say nice things to yourself. Create a relationship with the part of yourself that feels most vulnerable and at the end of the day, write down what you’re grateful for. Stay curious rather than on defense to new experiences and people. You never know what beautiful things life has in store for you.