There are some mornings when I wake up feeling like shit. I know there is only one option before me - which is to ‘snap out of it’.
A psychologist once administered a lengthy test to me, which included staring at inkblots, and pronounced - you have a 'depressive personality'. Meaning I am not, by birth, a shiny happy sunny person. But that doesn’t mean I cannot be happy. It just means I have to consciously work for it.
After experimenting with numerous forms of healing and self-development I have come to one simple conclusion: my state of mind must be in my control. No matter what the circumstances, what the trigger, what the ‘other person said’.
We go to university and get degrees in different subjects but the one area that remains a mystery to most of us - often till the very end - is the human mind. Baar baar bure khayal aate hain… what can I do? As if thoughts are magical beings which dance around in our heads without our consent.
Well, the best way to explain this is that the human mind is like a computer system and thoughts are the software. Many of us have installed faulty software (thoughts which do not serve us well) and hence the system is malfunctioning.
The installation often happened when we were children. We watched our parents and teachers and learnt to be criticise ourselves. We felt alone and unwanted on the playground. We felt ashamed of ourselves. Unworthy of love.
It is amazing how almost every problem in the world can be traced back to the need to be loved and yet feeling - ‘I am not unlovable’. Whitney Houston performed an amazing song called ‘The Greatest Love of All’.
The greatest love of all.. is happening to me.
…learning to love myself.. it is the greatest love of all.
Sadly the singer herself died 25 years in a bathtub after an overdose of cocaine… Obviously struggling with issues of self-acceptance and self-love.
Our modern society, and in particular advertising, is based on the idea that you need to ‘have something’ or ‘do something’ or ‘be a certain kind of someone’ to feel worthy and feel good.
‘Use 7-in-1 Blah Blah Cream because you are imperfect in not 1 but 7 ways’.
‘Eat sugar-free Blah Blah Biscuits because you are ugly and fat’.
‘Buy an expensive handbag with some French guy’s initials on it to be a part of the club’. (the club of people who are insecure about themselves)
Self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-love cannot be bought. You have to create this within yourself,. Through introspection, through awareness and by reprogramming all those faulty programs.
Where can you start? Take out 1 hour each day for your personal self-development. To identify those bugs and to fix them.
There are many ways I can recommend - from yoga and meditation to reiki, panic healing, pranayama - all of which require a certain level of training and commitment.
But if you are willing to at least take a baby step forward I can recommend just 1 method: affirmations.
An affirmation is anything we say or think. A lot of what we say and think is quite negative and does not create good experiences for us… We have to retrain our speaking and thinking into positive patterns if we want to change our lives.
These are the words of Louise Hay which revealed a new way of living to me - several years ago. I understood a piece in the puzzle of ‘what I have to do’ to be happy and stay happy.
Buy the life-changing book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise Hay. Read it and do the exercises - what the author calls as ‘mirror work’.
Also access Louise Hay’s free guided meditations on Youtube. My two favourites:
You Can Do It:
Change your Life Forever:
Listen to these at least once a day for 30 days. You could do it while commuting, during lunch hour or even just before going to sleep.
Will things really change? Is it that simple? The truth is things may not change but how you feel inside does change. And that makes your experience of the same world around you very different.
Try it because you deserve it. It’s the best gift you can ever give yourself.