From the moment we are born, society teaches us the rules we need to survive. We are conditioned with messages about what is right and what is wrong, what we should and shouldn’t do. Often, we only feel valid and “okay” if we comply with societies expectations. However this often brings us into conflict with our own authentic selves. For example, if you feel really upset over an incident, but your society has given you a strong message that crying is weakness, you feel compelled to stay strong to comply with societies expectations, whilst at the same time, feeling low and sad inside. Often these internal conflicts can be the source of depression and anxiety reactions. So in this post, we are going to look at some common issues which we all experience in life and consider if they can actually be healthy.
Anger is something many of us avoid expressing and yet it can often be very liberating. Feeling angry but expressing it in a healthy way can create powerful and positive change in our lives. Anger is simply a type of emotional energy that rises up in us when we have been wronged and a personal boundary has been crossed. That energy is set out on a mission to dismantle the inappropriate situation that has caused our suffering.
So, learn how to embrace that energy and put it to positive use. When you become angry, examine how you can express that anger in a positive way that will create change for the better. It is when we deny our anger and avoid it that it can turn into more unhealthy ways of being, such as rage or depression. Know that healthy anger is there for a reason, to be your protector and liberator.
2. Being Lost
We are feeling lost when we have lost our sense of direction. Yet when we are lost, it makes us pay attention to the moment and to our instincts. If you have ever been lost in a big city or a foreign land, you likely also made some wonderful discoveries while trying to find your way.
The same is true for life. Be okay with knowing it is the journey that is important, and sometimes in being lost and going down paths we never would have thought to choose we find out things about ourselves that are amazing. We discover unknown talents in ourselves, and meet friends or allies who otherwise would have remained a mystery. Being lost now doesn’t mean you will be lost forever. It simply means you are taking your time in finding your way, and also allowing the world around you to give input into the path which is best for you. Often it is that input we never would have dreamed to ask for that sets us on our true path.
Crying, like anger, is a healthy human emotional response to certain situations. Although few of us would want to be crying all the time, it is important to honor those times in life which may bring us to tears. Those tears can be tears of loss but also of joy. When we cry, it helps our psyche unleash energy that if we were to hold on to may become toxic or make us rigid.
Crying also softens our personalities as well as our appearance to the outside world, letting others know we feel, care, grieve and are effected by the world around us. So, crying not only lets us release our grief and sorrow, but also sends a signal to others that we are open and vulnerable as human beings, making us more attractive as friends and partners than those who never shed a tear for any reason.
4. Being alone
Being alone doesn’t have to be seen in a negative way and often can mean that we are just cutting off some of the not necessary social activities to dive into a deeper level of our being. It’s true that there are some situations where a person isolating themselves might be a reason of concern, but know as well that many of the world’s greatest artists, writers and thinkers found supreme value in solitude to find deeper inspiration and re-ignited their sense of creativity. Sometimes we just need to turn off the external stimuli and be with ourselves.
If you are feeling the need to be alone, trust and honor it. Sometimes a walk by yourself in the park, or even going on a solo vacation can lead to a level of self-reflection that completely renews our sense of purpose. In some situations, the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to be alone.
5. Not listening
Not listening to others may often be seen as an anti-social or even arrogant form of behavior, and yet there are times when you need to just go on your own intuition and be free with what your inner calling is. Keeping your eye on a strong vision sometimes requires you to ignore or tune out those voices who may not understand or be in alignment with that vision. Trust yourself and know that if advice is being given to you there may be some very good reasons not to listen to it.
Not listening can also simply display a level of discernment, as we have all seen those people who listen to what everyone else tells them, and how they can often appear to be captains on a rudderless ship, lacking an internal strong sense of direction. Be wise and know when to listen to others and when not to. If that inner bell says to go on your own gut feeling in spite of what others say, then trust it.
6. Breaking the rules
Breaking the rules at times can improve your life, as well as the lives of others. Rules are made by people, and none of us are perfect. So, trust in your own ability to find the heart behind the rule, and then decide for yourself if that rule promotes the greater good. Most innovations in art, science and society happen because someone stopped abiding by the rules as they were written and had the courage to challenge those rules that were unjust. Some of the world’s great rule breakers were Rosa Parks, Gandhi, John Lennon, and Martin Luther King Jr. Don’t be afraid to be like them.
7. Not fitting in
Not fitting in can be painful and awkward, especially during teenage years, but it can also mean you’re an innovator and that you have something to offer beyond the norm. When we fit in, it is usually because our thoughts, feelings and even our imagination is in tune with our community. Stepping outside that box of what others might expect of us can lead us into a place of not fitting in, but it can also lead us to explore outside the zone of commonly accepted beliefs and thoughts, which is the fertile ground for new ideas and new ways of thinking that beget innovation.
The future never fits nicely into the past, so embrace who you are in the now even if it doesn’t fit in with others. Know that your innovations may forge a new path that others may eventually follow.