Observations & meditations on modern life
Help, Love, Care, Live
For me, everyone lives their lives through lenses through which only they can see. We act based on our experiences, feelings, and emotions. I don’t think that would surprise anyone. However, I do believe that is an inherent cohesion between us and that it’s not just a matter of individualism. We don’t exist on our own, we don’t exist in a bubble that only we experience. We exist in workplaces, in homes, with people, with animals. It does make a difference. We do affect one another.
But where do we put our focus? On ourselves? On other people? We can’t focus solely on ourselves, and we can’t focus solely on other people. We have to take turns with the people around us. Carry your friends when they need it most, help them get back on their feet even if that means “tolerating” them for a little while. If everyone jumped ship on the people around them the second something became difficult, what would we be left with? That said, we also have a responsibility to work towards being able to stand on our own two feet and ultimately, that comes from an ability to balance what’s happening on the inside with what’s happening on the outside. Being able to balance what we feel with how we act, and being able to see that clearly.
Most therapists will emphasise the idea that we need to put ourselves first. We need to think about ourselves. We need to focus on self care and self love. I don’t disagree in the slightest, but I do think that there is often a complete misunderstanding in what this actually means.
For me, self care is NOT dismissing others because we’d rather be self indulgent. There is a huge difference between self indulgence and self love. Self love is the ability to know ourselves. It is feeling the feelings we would otherwise shun. Letting ourselves be happy/sad/angry/content. It is feeling peaceful with whatever burden we’re carrying.
The journey that most people go through in therapy isn’t all fairies and flowers. There is a slight assumption that therapy is a magical cure to make emotional hurt suddenly disappear. Whilst that sounds great, getting to the root of a problem isn’t always that simple, and it’s certainly not all that comfortable. But it’s a journey. It’s a journey that we all take at some point in our lives because otherwise, quite frankly, life would be one plain shade of grey.
We are supposed to ride the ups and downs. I think anybody would say that therapy is most certainly a journey of sorts, and it’s far from a quick and simple fix. Nor should it be a long and winding road to Destination Unknown, because that in itself is an issue. Surprise surprise, here we are at my idea of balance once again.
My aim, with everyone, is to show someone that their fear can be transformed. Anxiety can be transformed. Even the lowest of the lows can be transformed. But it can’t be transformed by pushing it away. When we push feelings away, they tend to come back harder and faster. When we accept them, we feel them, give them validity, then they can fade away. They no longer have a purpose if we address and resolve the issue.
Supporting someone in that journey is something that I find endlessly rewarding. I don’t find it emotionally draining or upsetting, like a lot of people assume it would be. It just brings me back to this idea that we are all cut from the same cloth, we’re all part of the same universe. Why fight that? Let someone in, let them help you go through what feels like the darkness. Let them help you when you need it, and then let yourself help others when you are needed. We would implode without love. We’d just simply cease to exist if we all lived in our own bubbles. So break the bubbles, reach out, get help, be your best help, and help others get there too.
Ultimately, we’re all part of the same universe. We can choose to create cracks in the foundations between us, or we can choose to share our burdens and our love. But the world deserves seven billion best-selves, not seven billion cracked individuals. We all have it in us, we just have to find it and let it shine.