Trying to be the best person you can possibly be isn’t easy. Every time you disappoint yourself, it’s a sad reminder that you failed, yet again. But that’s where you have to look yourself in the mirror and remember that it’s you that needs to change and you can’t pass the blame on anything else in your life. The way you react to situations, how you handle your problems, how you deal with unfortunate events… that is what builds your character. Not what people have done to hurt you, what they think or say about you, or what misfortunes life has brought to you. Everyone has problems, but there are people who are able to keep going on with a smile on their face because they’ve got something inside of them that won’t quit; that keeps them strong.
I’ve realised that I put the most important things to me at the centre of my life. I have them on such a high pedestal that I leave little to no room for myself. I used to depend on other people to make me feel good enough but the truth is that no person is perfect and therefore cannot fully satisfy you. You have to be solid within yourself. If you’re not one whole, self-sustainable individual, then how can you possibly expect to give your best to another person? If you depend on others to make you feel good about yourself, when they hurt you or leave you, won’t they take your self-confidence with them? If you obsess over pleasing someone but it’s ineffective, won’t that make you feel inadequate? This is precisely why it’s so important to be grounded within yourself – to know who you are, what you’re capable of, and that you have something great to offer, regardless of how people make you feel. I think everyone knows this, it’s just much harder to apply.
An interesting thought was brought to me while I was reading: Ironically, the more you centre your life around someone, the more unattractive you become to them. This is because you’ve made yourself vulnerable and fully available. If your security comes from them, and not from yourself, you become desperate and needy for attention, approval, and acceptance… and let’s be honest, how many of us have fallen into that trap? We gravitate towards stable people: people who go after their goals, who have a positive outlook, who are their own person, who have things going for them (add to or adjust any of these), it’s just how we are. So although it’s easy to be hard on ourselves when things don’t work out, an important part of the healing process is to remember who you are: although wounded, the same solid, stable, independent human being you were before the tragedy.
Oh, and another thing, drill this into your head: Do NOT settle for less than your original standards. For some reason we feel that we have to set our standards low because we think that no one can meet our expectations. So in an attempt to prevent disappointment, we set it low so pretty much anyone can meet it. Because “Who wants to be their best for me, really? Who on earth would ever try to be everything I need? Am I even worth it?” It’s really sad that this is the attitude so many people have. It’s a vicious cycle. How we are treated affects how we feel about ourselves which affects our opinions on what we deserve which affects how people perceive us which affects how we are treated and so on and so on. If we stop ourselves right at the second stage and remember who we are, we’ll be alright.
I don’t really know how to conclude this, but these are just some thoughts I have and I hope they bring you encouragement and grounded advice that might help.
There’s a reason why during airplane trauma they advise you to put your oxygen mask on first: You have to make sure you’re safe before you can save someone else.