I don’t know where you are at or what is bothering you. But if you are here, I assume you are either unsettled at present or have been so often enough to want to know how it can be dealt with.
I have spent the past two months immersed in pain. I have deeply observed it, sat with it, moved with it, and asked questions about it to myself and those around me. This is what was conceived during the period.
In this piece, I have tried my best to address a myriad of different solutions to small but problematic thoughts that may result in large and paralysing feelings. I dislike listicles but unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.
I’ve divided them into 3 categories — things to remember, things to do and things to think about. While some go a little deeper into pain and healing, most address surface level bad days — a day gone sour for seemingly no reason at all.
Some are meant to serve as reminders of things you probably already know, but need to hear again for whatever reason. Some are meant to help you shift your state. Some are meant to help you figure out what is bothering you by digging deeper in the right direction.
You can read them one after the other or stop when you find what you are looking for. You can bookmark this for a day you might want to come back to it. This is my gift to you, it’s yours.
I believe you landed here for a reason. Whatever you came here looking to feel or un-feel, I hope you find it.
Things to remember:
2. You do not know how much you will expand as a being. You cannot even fathom what you or your life will look like as you grow more into yourself.
3. You don’t know when change will slide beneath the ground you stand on. But believe me, it will happen. One day you will open your eyes, look around and see the world you keep projecting. It will be fantastic!
4. Even the worst feelings like grief are temporary. Jealousy, insecurity, and apprehension hold no chance of staying.
5. This is just another moment, it’s not a defining one. You are more than this. Than this thought, this feeling. Your life is more than the discomfort or pain you feel right now.
6. The grandiosity of this moment will pass. Probably sooner than you realize.
7. If you think you don’t have the strength to get into a thought, move on to the next thought. Ignore the throbbing that’s asking you to think this one through. Literally, hitchhike. Catch a thought heading anywhere else and get off it when you know where you want to turn.
8. Try to work with the present. Any actionable moment that propels you forward lies hidden in plain sight in average days.
9. You can’t see most movement. Not every step will be a giant leap. The small ones are equally important.
10. Work wherever you are at. It’ll lead you to the next step on the ladder. Do not let the vision of greatness that someone else is living trick you into believing that that has anything to do with your reality.
11. Amazing people, places and experiences will not stop being present in this world. There is enough out there that will stay for you to find it when you get there in your time.
12. Sometimes your trying will not feel good enough. It’s okay. It does not take away from the fact that you are still trying. And if you keep at that, things are eventually going to shift.
13. You do not have to push yourself until your breaking point to know that you have tried. Yes, some people do that. It’s not the only right way to live, it’s just their way.
14. It’s okay to be happy where you are at even if it’s not where you wanna get to.
15. You deserve happiness. Do not downplay how much you deserve it just because you don’t have what you are looking at.
16. Everyone feels sad, angry, hurt, heartbroken, guilty, jealous and insecure. There is no shame in any of those feelings. All you need to do is learn to channel it.
17. Nobody’s life is perfect. Don’t take pleasure in their pain but don’t equate anyone’s life to one good experience they have or height they reach to. No one is immune to the in-between mediocrity where someone else will shine.
18. Someone else’s experiences or accomplishments impact your life in no way, good or bad. It might feel like it does, but that is only a feeling and it is only that feeling which will affect your life.
19. Not everything and everyone is relevant to your life. Don’t allow the constantly shrinking boundaries and expanding marketing schemes of this world trick you.
21. Pick your spaces. You cannot be in all spaces. Pick your battles and your mind spaces.
22. Our roles in life shift from day to day, space to space. Sometimes you will be the listener, sometimes the speaker, sometimes the helper, sometimes the queen bee, sometimes the one who holds things together, sometimes the one who needs to be held, sometimes the one who follows orders, sometimes the one who runs the show, sometimes the most important person in the room, sometimes invisible. Play all of your roles with equal heart.
23. Know that whatever role you are playing, it’s still YOUR story. You are the protagonist. Don’t think: Today, X had this happen for them and their world changed. Think: I know someone called X who had an experience today that jolted me and made me do this. Because honestly, five years from now that is how you will see it and tell it.
24. Remember you’ve already experienced anything there is to feel. You can go out looking for it again in bigger ways but the core of the feeling is the same. Love, happiness, thrill, excitement, laughter, gratitude. And all of it it lives in you.
25. Some things need to pass through you to cleanse you from within and you need to pass through some things to sharpen yourself. Pure, sharp and incredible is what this pain is making you.
Things to do:
1. Tell someone how much you love them.
2. Tell someone how they’ve impacted you.
3. Think of something nice you can do for someone and do it. Love given will always generate more that shoots through. You never know which channel it might move through and unblock.
4. Create something. Anything. Immerse yourself in the process of creation.
5. Dance. Stand up and dance for a few minutes. I know you don’t feel like it but do it.
6. Look at the sky. From your roof or your window or from that car you are in. Things we don’t fully understand will be a part of our lives. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The darkness can be velvety soft like the night sky.
7. Breathe. Hold still. See that what you are feeling is a result of what you are thinking. Know that you are not those thoughts. You are a being, a singular mix of energies manifesting itself in a human container. We are all just containers of energies experiencing other energies.
8. Drink orange juice from the carton and eat a lot of green food that tastes like paper.
9. There must at least be 10 mundane dreary chores you need to get done in your life. Do it.
10. Read. Always keep at least 2 books around that you can throw yourself into if you dislike the way your reality feels. A hard read and a story. If you prefer reading online, of course, you have links bookmarked.
Things to think about:
1. Create a dialogue with yourself. Talk to yourself. You can talk yourself into or out of almost anything. You are literally the most persuasive person you know. Start that dialogue.
2. Ask yourself what exactly is making you feel unhappy or incompetent or jealous. Dare to be as honest as you can.
3. Ask yourself if you really want it. That person, that experience, that life.
4. If you do, ask yourself why.
5. If you do, ask yourself what you can to achieve it.
6. Step back. Some more. A little more. There. How much does it matter right now? I know this distance will zap like two magnets the moment we end this sentence but remember the view from here.
7. List 3 things in your life that you are grateful for.
8. List 3 wonderful things that you didn’t think could happen for you but did.
9. List 3 things you have accomplished that took your all. It doesn’t matter how big or small it looks to the world. What matters is the effort it took and the way it shaped you and only you can know that. Be proud of it.
I don’t believe that any list is complete until I include people I love in some way. So just in case none of the above work, here are two bonus tips:
1. Ask someone you trust to tell you why you are amazing.
2. Ask someone you trust to tell you how they see your life panning out.
Bad days and pain are all passing. Don’t let them take up more space in you than they should. Do not let your being become a response to anyone’s words or actions. Let your being be.