Beware False Prophets …
We live in a troubled and turbulent world. Economic, environmental, political and global uncertainty are the new normal. We are bombarded by fear, doomsday news events, and tragedies through an ever growing number of network and social media. We are told we are not doing enough to achieve or to be happy. No wonder people are anxious, uncertain and stressed. Not sure what the future will look like and not sure what to do about it, people feel helpless about the present and wonder if they are doing all the things necessary to live a fulfilling and happy life.
As we wake up, we check our facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat, email for what we may have missed and, it makes us feel worse not better. Somehow we now feel it is essential to vomit our opinions all over each other about everything that crosses our path on social media. This in turn has made us more intolerant, unforgiving, overly sensitive, self righteous and unhappy. We tweet instead of talk, we post instead of engage. We react instead of act. All this over communication has made us more isolated, lonely, stressed and less compassionate.
So? What do we do to combat these feelings of inadequacy, stress, unhappiness and isolation?
Maybe we take anti depressants, use CBD oil, juice, workout, over eat, shop, tune out or even “retreat” to dull or distract us from our uneasy feelings, stress and unsure paths.
Or, maybe, we seek out a “guru”, self -help evangelist who seems to have all the answers or promises that they can show us just how to tap into the universe so it will open up and manifest our destiny. Or they will show us how we are not quite trying hard enough or in the right direction for our perfect life waiting just around the corner. If we only buy their book, sign up for their seminar, get on their daily call, go to their retreat .. etc, etc, etc… all will be provided.
We are more vulnerable than ever, and more overly sensitive, and if you add aging out to the mix, then yes, we are going to look for a straw to grasp.
(Ironically, Milllennials spend the most money seeking self help, rather than older people who actually have less opportunities )
I know you have heard it before, “there is no magic pill”. So why do we still believe there is a “magic” universe, all knowing and all giving, waiting to give us our perfect life, if we only believe and concentrate hard enough? The “Secret” came out decades ago yet it is still being retold and re-spun. Why? Because desperate and unhappy people will seek desperate and irrational solutions just for some relief.
Please don’t get me wrong, some of these “self help” experts do actually assist people in making valuable changes to their lives, however, there are many more who are just “faking” it.
The reason the “secret” or Eckhart Tolle, Depak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Tony Robbins and all of the others seem to be able to help so many is really NOT about their power or wisdom at all. It is YOU! They simply enable you to believe in yourself enough so you have the power to make the changes necessary to give you more of what you want in your life! It was really just you all along “Dorothy”, not the ruby slippers.
The power comes from within. They are just the mechanism to channel it so you believe in yourself enough to make the changes necessary for the better life you are seeking. Nothing is holding you back, only you.
There are no boundaries, it is an illusion or self doubt. We are all in control of our lives and decide what we need and want to be happy and fulfilled. Sometimes what that actually is though eludes us for a time, or we hit a bump in the road that knocks us off course. Don’t beat yourself up about it, we are pendulums at least and circles at most, rotating and swinging with events and circumstances. That is really what life is all about; how we handle those changes and swings. Life is not perfect and it is increasingly longer so we have to learn to accept that there will be ups and downs, ebb and flows and learn to accept and live with it. We need to stop worrying so much and enjoy the ride. Life is (hopefully) a long journey and there will be good times and bad. Learning to navigate those changes are the best way to cope and to be happy.
We can’t control everything in our lives as much as we would like to. However, we can limit and make adjustments so we can enjoy more of it. I hate to sound cliché but “don’t sweat the small stuff”, don’t beat yourself up for your failures, learn from them. Do more of what you like and less of what you don’t. Take breaks, and “time to smell the roses”, forgive more and let things go. We really don’t know why someone reacts the way they do and judging less makes us happier. When you are angry at someone, it is you that is unhappy, not them. “It’s like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die”. Move on from things that don’t serve you. Try not to give in to fear, many times the fears we have are irrational. We are often frightened that the unknown will be worse, that is usually not the case. Don’t be afraid of change, embrace it, it can be exciting and more meaningful than what was happening before. Change is an opportunity.
Limit tolerations, they are draining. Look for excellence in all you do. Life can be as “big” as you want, there is no limit. Take life as the gift it is, live it fully, some don’t get the chance. Eat the cake, take the trip, indulge a little more.
Love fully and unafraid. We are sometimes worried that we will get hurt or not loved in the same way back. This may stop us from opening our own heart, but it is the love you feel that is uplifting and “all that”. To feel that much for another is lucky and spectacular and is its own reward. If someone feels the same back? Even better. If it doesn’t last? At least you had it for however long, and that is a gift in itself.
Be bold and stretch yourself you really have nothing to lose. If something doesn’t work out, learn from it and move on. Our feelings of shame or guilt are not serving us so brush them off and move forward. We all have this in us, we are more or less all the same and the people we think are lucky or special? Are neither, they just took the chance and pushed hard enough for long enough to make it happen. The most committed to an outcome usually win.
Try,try, and try again. Thomas Edison failed many more times than he succeeded. We all have suffered and endured traumas and heartache, some more than others, some less. Yet, we all have something to give, something to share, something to contribute.
Community building is important. Try not to live in isolation. Get out there everyday and make connection. We are social creatures that thrive with interaction. Talk to or smile at people you don’t know, open up your world. Limit negative thoughts and help others, it really helps you just as much if not more! You don’t have to be a good person as long as you try and do good things. We are defined by our actions.
So, ok .. take chances, don’t sweat the small stuff, love more, hate less, do more of what you like and less of what you don’t. Be curious, open and more selfless and life will happen for the better. I can almost guarantee it. You don’t need me or anyone else to tell you what to do to make you happy. You already know. Trust your gut and be brave and it will happen, just like that!