There is a lot of pressure nowadays to ‘be happy’ and to ‘be the best’. Lots of expressions initially designed to serve as an incentive, a motivation, are turning into unrealistic expectations and making people feel worse about themselves.
So many people ask me what they need to do to ‘get rid of’ their suffering. How to stop feeling the pain, stop feeling sad or even how to stop thinking about the issues that are causing their suffering. As if there were techniques to learn or a magic button that would make it all disappear in an instant.
And the answer is simple: we don’t ‘get rid’ of our suffering, we can’t just make it disappear. It takes time. It takes healing. And, surprisingly, it takes our care and attention for that to happen.
Sometimes you might be feeling stuck, not knowing what to do and unable to understand why you behave in certain ways. Or you have been carrying unresolved issues that are beyond your control. Constantly repeating old patterns. Or you have physical and emotional symptoms that don’t seem to be your own, as if they have been ‘passed on to you’. Common statements are ‘I wasn’t being myself’ or ‘I don’t know what took over me’.
There are so many people who seem so confident and sure of themselves, making decisions and getting on with their daily challenges, that you wouldn’t even suspect that they are feeling extremely anxious and vulnerable on the inside. For every task, there are countless doubts, insecurities and fears. And that can be exhausting and lonely, dealing with those emotions, without anyone knowing about it.
We all have ups and downs. Life isn’t a linear state and if your mood changes from one moment to another, it means that you are alive and open to your feelings. However, sometimes it feels that the low mood is taking over. From the moment you wake up, there’s that darkness and inexplicable sadness in your heart. You feel heavy and your mind seems filled with negative thoughts. What’s going on? What’s wrong with me?
There’s so much pressure to be doing things, going out, meeting friends and having fun. And, with social media, the pressure has increased, knowing what other people have been up to, all their busy social schedules and lots of activities planned way in advance. There’s almost a sense that if you are not out and about, you can’t possibly be enjoying yourself. But is that really true? Can’t you be happy and content on your own, doing things that you actually find fun? Or doing nothing at all?