Letters to Life

Letters to Life (59)

“What comes up, must come down. But you and me, we’re floating above the ground”Mika (from: Stay High)


Dear Life,

After months of looking forward to it, February 13th was finally there: Mika’s concert in the Netherlands!

I can’t say I am a huge fan, Life, because you and me both know I am too lazy practical to spend a whole lot of time figuring this man’s life out (nor do I really care that much), but I do very much appreciate his music and live shows.

His latest album had been living inside my CD player for months, which was my most active attempt at getting his new songs down in time before the gig.

It’s just a little disappointing that I lost my voice a day before. But I reckon squealing along is better than sitting at home crying.

Mika’s show ended up teaching me a valuable lesson (or two) as well:

First, Life, I did not know it was humanly possible to have so much fun. Or maybe I forgot. People from all ages, cultural backgrounds and social statuses came together to have a blast – which we did. For one night, for a few hours, none of it mattered. We were all alike. Problem-, worry-, and hate-free.

Second, after searching the web for pictures of the show afterwards (I am always too lazy busy singing and dancing to take any myself), I accidentally found out Mika’s mother is ill. Very ill. Not-sure-she’s-going-to-make-it-ill.

If I was amazed at his performances before, I’m even more so now. For I can slightly imagine the horrors he must be facing, since my mother’s been there, too.

Which is exactly why I closed off my internet immediately, ran to my mum and held her.

She’s here still. I have her. I’ll lose her one day, but not today.

Enjoy yourself, but never take anything for granted ❤

Or, in Mika’s words: “Love today.”

 

 

 

 

Goals

GOAL POST (3) – 3 Tips To Make It Through Step 1 (Choose Yourself)

  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goal 1 – Feel Better


Step 1 – Choose Yourself (continued)

It’s al very nice and all, figuring out the first step to feeling better is to choose yourself, but how exactly do you do that? What if you didn’t have some sort of epiphany like me? Then where do you start?

You start by realising this: if you do not take good care of yourself, it is impossible to take care of others. Therefore, you owe it not only to yourself, but to everyone around you that you love, to take good care of yourself.

I’m sure almost everyone has heard the safety talk on a plane in which you’re told to, in case pressure in the cabin drops, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping your children (or others sitting next to you) with theirs. Why? Because if you pass out, you’ll not be able to help others. Result: more possible casualties. It’s logic 101.

I tell you this, because I know from own experiences, as well as stories of coachees, people find it difficult to put themselves first, fearing it will make them selfish. Being self-centred, however, takes years of practice. One logical decision will not magically transform you into an egoist, trust me.

Now that we’ve got that settled, here’s 3 tips to choose yourself:

1. Acknowledge You Are Not Feeling Okay
It’s such a cliché, but true: you cannot fix a problem if you deny it’s there. Sticking your head in the sand will surely work for a while, but the longer you wait facing reality, the harder it’s going to slap you in the face when you pull your head up for a breather.
One trick I picked up is to avoid the verb to accept. You don’t have to accept you’re feeling down. You don’t have to feel like you should be okay with it. But at the very least you should acknowledge it. You are not feeling like this for no reason: your body and mind are trying to tell you something. So sit down and listen.


“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”Buddha


2. Get Your Priorities Straight – Set Boundaries That Work For You
Now that you’ve acknowledged you’re not exactly as happy or as healthy as you’d like to be, it’s time to set some boundaries – for your own sake! You are now your own number 1 priority. That’s right. When making decisions, ask yourself: is this going to help me feel better? If the answer is no, reconsider.
Someone needs your help? Great! Only… If you don’t feel up to it, for whatever reason, don’t. If you’ve got 100% energy to spend on a daily basis, quit giving 80% away to others. You need it yourself! If the people asking for your help care about you, too, they’ll understand. Which brings me to tip 3:

3. Talk About It – Be Open And Stay True To Yourself
People cannot read your mind or smell what’s going on with you. If you want a little understanding, you’ve got to at least give them a little explanation.
When I opened up about not feeling well, some people got angry with me, others got upset and some were downright surprised. But at least now they all know why sometimes I am not going out with them or would rather hang out closer to my home than theirs.
You don’t have to be dramatic about it, but at least let people know, in general, what’s going on. It will make tip 2 a whole lot easier, too!
Talking also releases some of the burden you’ve been dragging along with you. Feeling miserable is bad enough, don’t add loneliness to the mix.

I hope these tips are useless for you, for that’d mean you’re doing fine already. If you do have a hard time putting yourself first, just imagine you’re in an airplane with oxygen masks dangling in front of you. Nobody would hold it against you if you helped yourself first in that scenario, so why should they do it now?

And even if they would, their opinion is not your priority. Your priority is yourself, so you can feel better and help others better, too.

Whatever it is that you do: be kind to yourself. You deserve it. Buddha said so, so it must be true 😉

Are these tips helpful to you? Do you have more tips that have helped you and might work wonders for someone else? Let me know ↓↓↓

Goals

GOAL POST (2) – Step 1: Choose Yourself

  • Currently working on: Goal 1 – Feel Better

First, a quick recap of last week:

1. My father is doing much better – thank goodness! He’s got all sorts of tests planned and meetings with a new doctor, which gives me and my mother some relief and hope.

2. I am doing slightly better. My blood pressure went up, albeit a little. I’ve been boosting my iron by paying extra attention to my food and snack consumption and that seems to work. I feel better than I did a week ago as well.

3. This pains me to say but… Waldo didn’t make it 😦 He was too weak to try more medication, which was likely to not have helped him anyway, and he was only getting worse. So last Friday, together with the vet, I decided to let him go.


Step 1 – Choose Yourself

It’s funny how seemingly small things sometimes harbour the most important life lessons.

As I started my 2020 Goals, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could come up with a list of things to do or steps to take to get better. You know, much like climbing a ladder.

I would use my own path to figure the steps out and then share them with anyone who might need them, too. But as I decided this was a fun adventure (and a great way to find a positive note in my current low state) a problem arose: where to start?

If you want to climb a ladder, you have to be careful where to plant your feet as every step counts. As for trying to get better, it’s no use starting halfway. You need to start right at the bottom and work your way up, one step at a time. You need to be patient, sometimes maybe even lower yourself down a sport, but never skip a step.

That, I knew. Begin at the beginning.


“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water”Rabindranath Tagore


But what is the first step to take then?

The seemingly small thing that happened last week was a simple text message I received. It was short. It was curt. It was rude. It was even a little disrespectful in my opinion, if not completely disdainful.

What happened then was new to me: nothing. I didn’t bite back. I didn’t up my defences. I didn’t even feel attacked! Nothing. The message might as well have never been sent, because I literally couldn’t care less about it.

That night, as I was in bed, falling asleep, I realised that in the past, a silly thing such as this message would have kept me up for nights on end. So what had changed? Had I suddenly stopped caring?

No. What changed is what I choose to care about. And somewhere in the past four months, I chose myself.

I want to get better. And for that, I need myself. My own full attention. My own devotion. Knowing I’ll have my own back.

Right before I dozed off and had the best night of sleep in months, I knew. The first step is always to choose yourself. Before you can climb that ladder, you have to know what you’re climbing it for. And if you’re not doing it for you, there’s no use in trying.

What steps are you taking to become a healthier, happier person? Let me know in the comments and let’s help each other get on the way 🙂