Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SELF-PRESERVATION: THE LIGHT AT THE END OF YOUR TURMOIL


The moments right after a breakdown are so crucial. Once the tears and tantrum end, it’s what you do next that will make or break you. Going straight to sleep, getting drunk or high, binge eating, going out and beating someone up to “let off some steam,” or doing anything other than turning your attention to yourself in a loving, caring way, will always lead you to a shoddier place emotionally. This is because you have completely abandoned yourself at your worst time. Going to sleep right after a breakdown may not seem like a bad idea, and it’s actually not bad. I mean, sleep is necessary, and it’s not destructive like the other options, right? No, but what it is, is an easy way to avoid looking at your life and dealing with your pain. In times of crisis, that is the healthiest thing to do if you want to bring the issue to a close as soon as possible: deal with it—no drugs, alcohol, violence, or convenient escape mechanisms.

You know how when a friend calls you in a panic and asks for your help with a problem? You usually do it without hesitation, because you care about that person. You take time out to focus on their issue, show them that you care, dig in and come up with some encouraging words, find a [hopefully healthy] way to make them feel better, if you can. That’s the advised approach to take with yourself, in your own time of need. You don’t skip out on your friends when they’re down, so why would you do that to yourself? In times of emotional turmoil, the best counteraction is to find a way to do something loving for yourself, to come to your own rescue, stat!

Typically, after a meltdown, the first thing you forego is your “normal routine.” For example, maybe the dishes won’t get done; the laundry won’t get folded; your teeth may not get brushed and flossed that night; you may skip your exercise routine; if you’re in school, you might not get that homework done; maybe you’ll postpone that prayer session you had planned; or you had cooking a healthy 3-course meal on your agenda, but now you’ll just opt for some greasy fast food. Whatever it is that you normally do when you’re okay, those things are usually the first to go by the wayside when you’re distraught. It’s just too much. You’re too broken down. You’ll do it later, after you ruminate for 18 more hours on the issue at hand.

It’s how you care for yourself in moments of crisis that shows how deep your love for yourself really is. After a breakdown is precisely the time to put extra focus on taking care of your life—even if you just take out the trash, clip your fingernails, dust the shelves, or walk around the block once. Do any healthy thing that you know will make you feel better or feel good about yourself, even relax you. Any move you can make towards showing yourself that you care about yourself, and even your immediate surroundings, is a great start. You may not think it’s worth much at the time, but I can’t stress enough how showing yourself love and care when you feel bad will boost your self-esteem, and, dare I say, allow you to feel a glimmer of hope about getting through your situation.

Being your own friend and motivator first, changes things. It gives you incredible strength and resilience. It helps preserve your sanity. It says, “I love myself enough to not let myself sink into the abyss of hell.” Remember: wallowing is reactive; self-care is proactive.


Friday, August 3, 2018

TEMPORARY PASS

Sometimes you'll act out, do unhealthy things, disregard your best interest, dip back into unsavory habits and ways of functioning. When you do, ask yourself why. You have your reasons. What are they? You only act out when you're upset about something and feeling out of control. Instead of belittling yourself about it, give yourself a pass for a minute. Ask yourself what's really going on. Look at your life. What are you longing for? It's not necessarily about getting the thing at the moment (or at all, if it's not good for you); it's about admitting how you feel and allowing yourself to feel it, being okay with being there, embracing the fact that it's normal to feel out of sorts. It's about being able to say, "Okay! I'm not happy about xyz, so I'm out here wildin' out right now. This isn't good, but I understand. I'm human. I backslide every now and then. It's okay. I'm still great. I'm still worthy. I'ma still shine. This is just a moment."

The quickest way to get in control of your actions is to get in control of your feelings. Identifying why you're doing something makes it easier to reel yourself in. So walk yourself all the way through your moment. Be kind to yourself in the process. Then go ahead and lovingly snatch yourself up, drink a cup of that Act Right Juice, and put yourself back in your [healthy] place.

Learn more at www.honorthespirit.com

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

THANK YOU! MORE, PLEASE!

Asking for more of something isn't a sign of being ungrateful; it's a sign that you liked it, that it felt good, brought you joy, enhanced your life and/or someone else's, and you want more of it so you can continue experiencing those great effects. You can be grateful for what you have and still ask for more. There is nothing wrong with asking for more—a whole lot more—of what you already have, just had, or maybe haven't even experienced yet (in which case you would ask for the initial experience).

When you enjoy (or need) something, asking for more is a natural response. When you're a guest at someone's home and they feed you really awesome food, and you want more, you politely ask for it. It's a compliment of sorts. It says, "Hey, you really did the damn thang with that food, and I enjoyed it so much that I'd like to do it all over again." People generally like it when you express that something they have given you was not only appreciated but also that more of it is desired, if possible. The universe is like a big "all you want" buffet, where there's no limit to what you can have. You're a guest here, and if you need or want something, all you have to do is ask.

Settler's Gratitude is when you're playing small, not confidently and passionately asking for [more of] the things you need and enjoy (things you know deep down that you deserve). It's equivalent to quietly accepting an unfulfilling relationship, being meekly grateful for the [inconsistent] times your mate actually treats you the way you want, and hoping that one day, if you're grateful enough for "the little things," the person will kick that good treatment into overdrive. Because you're afraid of being an ingrate, afraid that asking for more is tantamount to balking at your [lovely but inadequate] blessing, you lack the courage to assert yourself in said relationship and make it clear that being treated well "sometimes" isn't acceptable, that you enjoy and deserve being treated right all the time. If, when frustrated enough, you do try to assert yourself and pursue your ideal relationship, you do it while feeling apologetic and guilty. Part of you is like, "This isn't working for me; I deserve, need, and want more"; the other part of you is like, "Dang! How ungrateful are you right now? Think about that good thing your boo just did for you last month! It was so special, and now look atcha! You can't be content with and focus on that goodness, that blessing; you just gotta be negative by thinking about how this isn't enough and how you want it to be like that all the time. See, that's what's wrong with you; that's why you can't get ahead in this relationship. You just refuse to be happy with what you have. Ole ingrate."

No matter what disheartening drivel your ego tries to get you to believe, the fact is this: you deserve the buffet of wonderful treatment and perks in your relationship, and in all of your life's scenarios.

Now, don't get it twisted: gratitude is always crucial, and it's a major key to getting ahead in life quickly. Gratitude is encouraged to be in the front seat during your journey, and you're urged to employ it daily. As a matter of fact, the truly courteous thing to do before you ask for more of something is to say thank you for what you were given or experienced. If you wanna uplevel your request game, you can say, "Thank you [Universe/God]! I enjoyed that! I'd love an unlimited supply, please!" And you know how sometimes when you're asking someone for something, and at the end of your request you say, "Thank you, in advance"? You can do that with your source, too. "Universe/God, I need/would like XYZ. Thank you in advance." I know these options may seem extra'd out or silly, but remember that the idea is to help you learn how to confidently do two things simultaneously: be grateful while requesting more because you comfortably acknowledge that more is not wrong, especially when it's necessary to function at full capacity in life. Some people have no problems aggressively asserting themselves in pursuit of more when something's not enough. Good for them. Maybe that's not you, though—but you need to get better at your asking so you can advance in life, so, hey, maybe you have to start off being a lot more diplomatic than the veteran guilt-free asker. The point is to finally feel good about your request, to not feel like you have no right to be asking. If you have to pretty-up the language a bit in the beginning, then so be it.

You can totally go about getting more while being grateful and courteous.

Another important aspect of this concept is that it's important to keep asking for more (in life) when your whole need or desire isn't met. Nobody but you can properly assess when your needs and desires have been fully met in your various scenarios. It they're not, then yes, give thanks for all the parts that are, the steps that are leading to the full fruition of your needs and desires, but definitely continue to pursue the rest. It's your job to make sure your best interests are tended to, so don't apologize for doing so, and don't let people make you think you shouldn't be asking for more or better for yourself. What you want or need for you is none of their business.

Now here's the hard part: Not asking for what you need and want is a sign of low self-esteem. Huh? How, Sway? Because encompassed in self-esteem (which equates to self-respect) is self-care, your depth of it, and how you feel about engaging in it. Self-care involves doing and pursuing all the things that are in your best interest—confidently, not timidly or halfheartedly. Any time you're struggling to do what's best for you, it means your self-care meter is out of whack. You are really the only person who can spearhead taking care of yourself properly (unless you're having a medical emergency in which you're unconscious and need medical professionals to decide your best interest for you). You're in charge of making sure to initiate and follow through with your pursuit of happiness. If some part of doing that makes you uncomfortable, it's time to dig deep and ask yourself why. Because you have every right to be happy in this life. Going after it, asking for it, and feeling good about making moves toward it, isn't intended to morph into an emotional crisis (which subsequently blocks your advancement). If you're not passionately and unapologetically compelled to pursue the peace of mind and overall life you want, then what's an even more painful pill to swallow is the fact that you'll be hard pressed to acquire the [full] outside support you need to get there, because what you get from your environment is a direct match to what's going on inside of you.

Getting yours begins with your having a high level of determination to do so. Look around you. What do you have that you enjoy, love, appreciate, and desire more of? What in your life makes you feel your best, feel at peace, feel confident, and helps you feel like you're adding value to the world? Whatever those things are, I encourage and invite you to practice expressing your appreciation for them, and then having the chutzpah to ask for more—as much as you think you'd like, that will allow you to keep that smile on your face and that contentment in your heart. You deserve it. Every day.

Take care, and always remember to HONOR THE SPIRIT!