Don’t look for the flaws as you go through life;
And even when you find them,
It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind,
And look for the virtue behind them;
For the cloudiest night has a hint of light
Somewhere in its shadows hiding;
It’s better by far to hunt for a star,
Than the spots on the sun abiding.
The current of life runs ever away
To the bosom of God’s great ocean.
Don’t set your force ’gainst the river’s course,
And think to alter its motion.
Don’t waste a curse on the universe,
Remember, it lived before you;
Don’t butt at the storm with your puny form,
But bend and let it go o’er you.
The world will never adjust itself
To suit your whims to the letter,
Some things must go wrong your whole life long,
And the sooner you know it the better.
It is folly to fight with the Infinite,
And go under at last in the wrestle.
The wiser man shapes into God’s plan,
As water shapes into a vessel.
A special place in my heart is reserved for The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. My mother sent this book to me when I after I graduated college and was off on my own.
I had moved to a small town in a part of the US that was very different from the region where I grew up. I had a very hard time meeting people and finding my place in my new world. Needless to say, this was a difficult experience for me–I didn’t know what to do to help my situation.
As always, though, Mom came through!
One day a package arrived in the mail and it was this book along with a beautiful letter from my mom. Of course she knew of my struggles and, as she was reading the book herself, she realized it could be helpful to me. Her letter was filled with wisdom from her own life and the special encouragement that only a mother can give.
The book didn’t immediately solve all my problems, but it helped me take the next step in my life and gradually my situation improved. Most importantly, though, this book is a poignant reminder of my mother’s loving and wise guidance and encouragement.
How about you? What books have a special place in your heart? Feel free to share. Thanks!
Marie Shriver has a new book out entitled I’ve Been Thinking…. I just started reading it and what I’ve read is wonderful.
I came across the following bit that I thought was excellent to keep in mind:
…Because, let’s face it: Life is one hell of a roller coaster ride. At times we feel totally in charge of the journey and love the ride. At other times we feel completely overwhelmed and want to get off. Throught out our lives, we’re by turns strong, then weak. We’re quite sure we know what we’re doing, and then we’re utterly and totally lost. We feel elated, and then depressed. We act powerfully, then feel like victims. We’re buoyed by courage, then scared out of our wits. We feel a part of a community, and then we feel totally alone. We take pride In our accomplishments, then want to crumble with shame over our mistakes…
With that paragraph, Marie Shriver sums up all of Life’s experiences for each one of us. It’s comforting to know that we “common folk” aren’t the only ones tossed about by Life; the achievers, the successes, are just as thrown about as we are!
The next time you want to envy someone who seems to have a better job, more money, or a better family, remember Maria Shriver’s wise observations, not to take them down a peg but rather to understand that we are all equals on our journey here on Earth..
When using the tips mentioned in yesterday’s post, give yourself credit for every little bit you do. Acknowledge it; own it. What you do doesn’t have to be perfect, especially when you’re working through difficult feelings. Pat yourself on the back for the small actions that you’re taking.
Reward yourself. More importantly, feel the warm glow you get inside when you acknowledge yourself for trying, and for doing, the best you can. It’s really important to focus on what it feels like to feel good about yourself. This is how you build self-respect and self-appreciation. These glowing feelings go a long way toward healing that part of you that gets anxious or fearful or that feels worthless from time-to-time.
What do you do to appreciate yourself and the efforts you’re making (no matter how small and how imperfect)? I like to read a book of fiction. 🙂
This week we’ve been talking about anxiety,fear, and worthlessness. From time-to-time, we’re all stunned by one or a combination of these feelings. When they hit, they cause us to slow down and even stop.
And stay stopped.
Staying stopped is another way of saying that we’re stuck.
Researchers, experts, and those who have Been-There-Done-That will tell you that the quickest and surest antidote to fear and anxiety and worthlessness is to take action.
Here are the tiny baby steps I take when I’m in the throes of anxiety, fear, and feelings of worthlessness:
First, I sit quietly for a few moments and reflect.
I take the time to tune into myself. I ask where these feelings of anxiety/fear/worthlessness are coming from. What happened to trigger these? I listen and jot down–WITHOUT JUDGMENT–the answers I get.
Then, I ask myself what can I do about this right here and right now. Again I listen and jot down the answers I get–without judgment. There may be a few “I should do this or that…” and that’s fine; I jot those down, too.
After I gather the answers, I ask myself what is doable right here where I am in this moment. What I’m looking for is a little piece–a toe or finger hold–that I can grab onto and start working on. I look for the little bit that isn’t too big or overwhelming and doesn’t require a ton of anything from me right now.
Sometimes I find that even the little toe or finger hold is too much to face right at this moment.
Yikes! If this happens, does it mean we’re doomed? NO! Read on to the second thing I do!
Secondly, I start to do something, anything.
Perhaps I know what the toe hold activity is, but it’s too much for me to do right at this moment. In that case, I look for something easy to do or something I enjoy doing. For instance, on sunny days I love to do laundry and hang the items outside to dry. If I’m at work, I might choose something easy like clearing and straightening my desk or my files.
Once I’m going the task that I’ve chosen that’s easy or enjoyable, I gather the momentum and slingshot myself over to the toe or finger hold activity.
If I find that I can’t quite do the finger hold task yet, I go back and do a fun or easy task. I repeat this as often as I need to so that I have enough momentum–in the form of feeling a little more sure of my ability to handle the finger hold task–to slingshot myself to it.
Third, I keep in mind to be kind and gentle to myself.
I do little treats for myself throughout the day. For instance, at work I’ll take a break for a few moments and gaze out the window or make a cup of tea for myself. At home, I’ll set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes and read in a fun book.
Another think I’ll do is cook myself one of my favorite comfort foods, even if it’s eating a breakfast meal at dinnertime or making miso soup with fresh vegetables for myself at breakfast instead of saving it for lunch.
Which leads me to…
Making sure I eat nutritious food, drink enough water, and get rest and sleep.
Often I find that I’m more susceptible to anxiety and fear and feelings of worthlessness when I’ve been grabbing convenience foods and skimping on my sleep. When I’m well hydrated, eating good food, and getting a reasonable amount of rest and sleep, I am less likely to allow things to bother me, I’m more resilient, and when something does get to me, I can bounce back quickly.
I hope these four baby steps can help you the next time anxiety, fear, and worthlessness knock you off your stride.
Do you have techniques that I haven’t mentioned here? If so, feel free to share them with us. Thanks!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the final and most important step!
There are times, though, when we are hit really hard by Life and we just can’t seem to turn those ‘what ifs’ around. In fact, we might be so discouraged that we begin to wonder about our worth in the world–and wonder if we have any worth at all.
I’ve had times like this–we’ve all had times like this. When we’re in the midst of these thoughts it can seem like they’re the truth about us and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Here is an article I came across that had excellent suggestions about how to help ourselves out of this thought pattern:
Please note: if feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness persist, please seek assistance from professionals trained to help in these circumstances. Please call a health care professional, a therapist or counselor, or your spiritual leader. Please reach out for help!
Each of the suggestions outlined in the article are powerful:
~Don’t expect the world to validate your worth.
There is always going to be someone who–by the world’s standards–is “better than” us. First of all, it’s a big wide world and there’s plenty of room for everyone’s talents and gifts, plus there’s plenty of room for everyone to live a soul-prospering life.
Secondly, people can’t really be compared fully to one another, even when performing the same skill, because each of us has our own unique perspective on it and our own original mark to the way we do it.
Although this is easier said than done: don’t compare yourself to others!
~You will never find your worth outside of you.
Yep, the world is a fickle place. What’s popular and hot one moment is kicked to the curb in the next moment. If you try to mold yourself to please the world, you’ll wind up a knotted mess that’s pretzeled into a shape that you don’t recognize.
Keep your focus on your own heart and soul and sharing their gifts with the world.
~Be careful who you spend your time with.
Frenemies. Yes, there may be one or two within your circle of friends. Be aware of who drains your energy and who, even though they say they’re being supportive, find clever and subtle ways to tear you down or make you feel bad about yourself.
When you discover these people, either eliminate them from your life or keep your distance from them.
~Don’t believe everything you think.
You’ve been wrong before–you may not want to admit it, but it’s true. Therefore, you could very well be wrong about your feelings of worthlessness and that there’s no hope for you.
I guarantee you that you are valuable and needed in this world and that there is hope. Hang in there and keep moving forward, even if it’s in slow tiny bits of steps.
~If you’re feeling worthless, disconnect in order to reconnect.
This is so true. Get off of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and the like. Stop watching the news. Turn off the stupid sitcoms and reality shows!
Pick up a good book, read something uplifting, connect with someone who makes you feel better about yourself!
~Tell yourself what you want to hear from others.
Give yourself a pep talk. Also search the posts here at YesICanPepTalks.com and I guarantee you’ll find at least one post that will lift your spirits!
~Be kind and gentle with yourself.
When you’re feeling bad, the last thing you need is to come down like a ton of bricks on yourself. Give yourself loving-kindness: Take a hot bath, treat yourself to your favorite home cooked meal, read a favorite book, talk to someone who cares about you, take a walk in Nature, play with your pets, play with your kids….
Do you have other techniques you use? Please share them with us in the comments below. Thanks!
Crafting our soul prospering life requires that we step out of our comfort zone–do things differently than what we’re accustomed to as well as try new things, meet new people, and go new places. This can–and often does–create anxiety and fear.