What does it mean to be a human? Are humans innately good or bad? Should we follow gurus?
Nowadays there are many gurus out there telling us to get out there and move. You are unlimited, they say. You are wasting your life, they say.
There are new diets almost every year. It's like the Fashion world, it changes every season.
Oh so now coffee is not so bad? Oh so I can't eat grains anymore? It's all so confusing!
You're stranded on an island by yourself. What do you do? There you are, alone.
After the panic has faded away, you start thinking about food.
It's now when you can smell that sweet latte at Starbucks and that juicy burger with french fries. Your mouth starts to water.
You feel a beating from the sun and you start dreaming of your apartment or house.
You love everything you had before landing on the island.
There is a flashback of you complaining about your job, your friends, your lack of money, your lack of love and health.
You start wishing to have those things again. Now, the little things that annoyed you at one point are flying away. Your arguments with your partner. Your frustration at the traffic. Your desire for more. All of those feelings are cherished.
See, we cherish what we don't have unless we are mindful. Being grateful everyday allows us to enjoy every moment of our waking life. Every breath becomes a luxury. Every human interaction is welcomed.
So, you start surviving and after 6 months on the island, you are actually becoming used to the humidity and the uncertainty that comes with every night.
You start believing in yourself. There are no doubts or self-judgements. You are there, just there, in the moment. There is no one to follow but yourself.
Now fast forward a week and you've been rescued and you are back to your regular life. Do you still believe in yourself?
You turn on your computer and go on to Youtube.
There, you find motivational speakers telling you that you need more. Since you know what is like to not have anything, you appreciate what you have right now. You decide to stop the video and take a walk. The trees, the birds, the air, people, they are all your companions now. You feel at peace.
The next day you decide to volunteer. You automatically feel good. While taking a walk one cool and bright night, you realize something. You realize that you are your own guru. You have the answers for your own life. Everyone's life is different and unique. You came here to enjoy life and help others.
Self-improvement or Self-help keeps you thinking that you constantly have to seek more. It makes some people believe that they are broken and need someone else's help in order to improve their lives.
From my own experience I can say that the people who have helped me the most (boyfriend and therapist) allowed me to talk in a safe space. They didn't tell me who to be or what to achieve. They just allowed me to be me and asked me questions so that I could come up with answers that made sense to me.
Please note that for many, self-help is a great start to self awareness. It is a tool, only a piece of the puzzle. I have read many self-help books and still felt depressed. Some helped me more than others. I realized that most have similar messages that are common sense to me now. We most likely know that we need to eat "better" and exercise or move more.
We know that we need to believe in ourselves and help others.
Let's practice self love, not selfishness.
Selfishness can happen when we are constantly trying to "improve" ourselves. We start neglecting our loved ones and our duties.
Self love is all inclusive. I choose to practice that.
I'm not here to tell you how to live your life. I'm here to tell you that you are the only one who decides how you want to live your life.
Listen to your heart and know that mistakes are lessons and we need to stop beating ourselves up for making them. We are both good and bad. It depends which side we are feeding at a specific moment. If you fed the bad side then the next day try being aware that the good side needs some more food and love.
Being a human is a wonderful experience if we accept ourselves. It is a choice.
Feeling and having emotions is a beautiful gift.
Trying to smile and be positive all the time is exhausting!
Feel that anger without hurting yourself or others. Then release it into the air. That's all the self-help tips you need, but this is just my humble opinion. Follow your bliss.
With love, Dania