Lifestyle Enhancement #9:
[OVERALL LIFE/SELF-ACCEPTANCE] I am extremely comfortable with who I am and completely relaxed with other people.
Self-worth and self-love are the basis for true contentment in life. After all, there is no “perfect” way to look, act, or be. There is no “perfect” marriage, friendship, house, car, or job.
The judgment of the “perfection” of each of these things is simply a matter of opinion. You might think that a cottage in the woods is perfection and another person may think that a McMansion with 6 bedrooms and 6 baths is perfection. There is no right or wrong when it comes to most things in our lives.
So, if there’s not a right or wrong way to look, act or be, and there’s not a good or bad house to live in, car to drive, or job to have, how do you determine if you and your life are good enough?
Well, there’s the thing. Good enough is in the eyes of the beholder. If you feel you are lacking in any area of your life, pay attention to what this feeling of lack is trying to tell you. All of our emotions are messages from our soul to our conscious minds. So, if this feeling a lack is a message from your soul, what is it trying to tell you?
At the most basic level, your soul might just be trying to tell you that it has a desire that has not yet been met. And, in some cases, you can respond by giving it what it wants.
For example, if you find that you are being drawn to bright colors, maybe your soul is trying to tell you that it would like more color in your life. So, you could respond by painting the walls of your living room, buying a pretty blouse, or picking up your watercolors again.
If you feel a renewed attraction to nature, perhaps you could schedule a weekend hike, plant some new things in your garden or start a weeknight walking ritual after work.
There are frequently very small things that we can do to bring more joy into our everyday lives. They don’t take much time, money or effort but provide a big payoff in how we feel about our lives.
So, as a first step, start paying attention to those feelings, inklings, desires, and seemingly random thoughts that pop into your head. They might just be messages from your soul that can direct you to a happier day-to-day life.
But what if don’t feel “good enough” in many aspects of your life? You experience a general feeling of inadequacy and compare yourself to others pretty regularly and never feel like you and your life stack up. They have better jobs than you, their spouses are a better match, their kids are cuter, and their life just seems better all the way around.
These negative feelings might conflict with your intellectual estimation of your life. You do in fact have a good job, a great spouse, beautiful children and a generally good life. Yet, these feelings still surface time and again making you feel both depressed and confused.
You “should” be happy. You have everything, or almost everything, you “should” want. There’s no reason that those you compare yourself to “should be” happier than you – on the surface, you’ve got it just as good as they do. Perhaps even better. So, why do you feel this way?
The root of these feelings goes a lot deeper than those that are trying to point you toward your soul’s desires. In fact, in this case, desire is simply a distracter from what is really causing you to feel this way.
These feelings of inadequacy, of not being “good enough” and of experiencing a film of dissatisfaction on your life - despite all of the reasons you “should be” happy - point to your deepest psychological beliefs about yourself.
Your level of satisfaction with your life is a reflection of how satisfied you are with who you are on the inside. These issues are usually not fully resolved by reading self-help books, attending workshops, or consulting with professionals who are not extensively trained in psychotherapy.
Without resolving your feelings of inadequacy, you’ll never really be happy because your level of happiness isn’t tied to the reality of your life. It’s actually tied to how you “feel” about your life. Without resolving these feelings, your reality doesn’t matter. You’ll never be happy.
And, please know, there is nothing “wrong” with feeling this way. Many of us have experienced these feelings about our lives at some time or another or to some degree or another. Oftentimes, those of us who deal with the deeper versions of this problem adopted it from one or both of our parents who likely adopted it from their parents.
You deserve to be happy. Every one of us does. After all, we’re only living this life once, and every day that goes by is one more day in which we haven’t experienced the joy that life has to offer. There’s no reason to live the rest of your life this way.
Seek out a therapist who can help you deal with the root of what is causing you to feel this way. You’ll give yourself no other greater gift in this lifetime.