Updated: Jun 24, 2021
In a season of grinding, doing, performing, reaching goals and so many society imposed standards and trends is almost impossible to stay completely out of the most diminishing venom being spread everyday and almost in every media outlet .. Competition and Comparison!
That's the most spread virus that the digital and marketing societies are in charge of spreading by almost all the time, subjecting people to constantly changing everything they are, they have and they own ...and comparing them to what is "better".
For instance, we should make clear that different doesn't always mean "better", new also doesn't always mean "better", a tendency certainly is not always "better". So, who should define what is better? There is only one person that knows exactly what you need ..it is You!
Instead of always learning to compare and compete since we were very young, our parents or caregivers should encourage us to accept ourselves, to embrace all the amazing gifts that we have, to pursue certain things but with a more conscious baseline that is for own benefit and to learn to evaluate pretty much everything we do and attest for ourselves that it is good for us or it is just damaging us!
If we were more keen to see all our inner healing mechanisms, we would be more mindful to go inside and learn what bothers us, learn what is that "thought" circling our heads that comes back and along the way pulls many others to gather more negativity.
However, if we were more perceptive to these internal voices and messages that we are constantly receiving also from within, from our heart then we would be more skillful to isolate the thoughts and literally as a computer virus, put it into quarantine, to then dissolve it with the power of love.
Every inner message that we receive is a voice from your heart that travels inside looking for you to listen, however, as you're busier looking outside to comfort any kind of pain, the voice starts to be lost and the "patient zero" with that negative thought starts becoming stronger and gathering allies to generate a coherent behaviour inside of you which is often sadness, then probably anxiety and then if it follows the thread ...depression!.
Have you ever compared yourself to others, and deemed yourself lacking? Bombarded as we are by media images of happy, thin, successful people, it’s often hard not to; however, such thinking is never positive, as author Will Storr argues. In his book Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us, he suggests it can lead to a myriad of problems, including self-harm and suicide (1).
While it would be easy to blame our plummeting sense of fulfillment solely on the rise of social media, Storr’s book takes a more unusual tack, going backwards to examine the history of the self, and how various societies have fetishised it into an unobtainable ideal. The Ancient Greeks practiced the principle of kalokagathia, the balancing of one’s moral goodness against the individual’s personal beauty. Ancient Chinese culture was, in contrast, shaped by Confucian ideals, which considered the superior man he who did not “boast of himself”, but who cultivated “friendly harmony” through the “concealment of his virtue” (1).
As described also above, every attempt of almost every culture will be based on you to compare to something, and there's no need to also label that word or action to understand the damage it can cause, but you just need to really understand the concept that whenever you're looking external ways to "fill the void" inside there will be struggle, it will come from lacking, when in fact is more about learning to embrace the inner qualities, assets and to discover more and more your wisdom within you which is what in the future it will lead you to heal and become a more resilient person to one day become your own healer and that doesn't mean that you need others, or you become completely isolated of the physical and external experiences, it just means that you will finally harness the power to awake, reflect and search your answers in you not in anyone's else's experiences or life.
Since we are born practically many parents are obsessed with showing off how many new tricks and achievements their children have manage to discover or learn, initiating a silly competition between them to post the best picture of the child, to show off the next big achievement or simply to show beautiful plate they're eating! There's nothing wrong with trying to share how or what your children do or eat, but there's no point on inundating social media with pictures of every single thing it happens in your life due to the now also invented concept of "fear of missing out or FOMO" which we have spoken about that concept and it was just developed to install in people's mind another "disease" or "disorder" to justify a solution to sell! (2).
What happen to the friends reunions or family gatherings that everyone of us used to have 20 or more years ago before the internet and social platforms, those were real forms of sharing, now you can see people at the few social encounters with their mobile phones and not even talking to each other...it is so obvious that lack of empathy, lack of meaning in talking with another human being has turn into the ultimate's disease ..an addiction the dopamine and immediate entertainment or recognition that you can have in your platforms.
Those ways of interactions are the ones that are pulling us towards detaching of what we really feel, what our internal voices and processes are signaling to us, and ultimately is what ends up conducing us towards a life without meaning, just full of immediate rewards and meaningless entertainment that little by little starts to create anxiety, depression, and in the worst scenarios is what leads many children and teenagers towards taking the road to suicide which statistically is rising the toll of young people.
When we pay more attention to the ways to connect with ourselves, to know what is going on with us, to feel more and show off less..that's when the healing process begins.
Engaging in more real social activities is what ends up making us feel better, when someone else is giving an undivided attention to what we have to say, when someone else is listening closely to our story and experiences, when we get to share that felling with them and end up feeling accepted and create a strong bond with the person, that's when we also generate a true connection with someone and that simple practice will nurture more your heart and soul than any amount of likes or "engagement" than you can have in your social profile!
Meaning-making is a continuously ongoing process that occurs in any social engagement with others, whether that ‘other’ is people, animals, the material, or spiritual worlds. Meaning-making has been described as a process whereby individual meaning(s) can be derived from an activity to make sense of and find purpose in life. Engagement, on the other hand, refers to the active involvement in an activity that is personally, spiritually, socially, and/or culturally important and valued by the individual. Meaning-making and engagement are connected as engagement in personally worthwhile activities can add meaning to one’s life. And leisure, which is defined, as experiences and/or activities that are freely chosen, non-obligatory, and autonomous, which can foster positive emotions (e.g. enjoyment, satisfaction, happiness, serenity) in individuals that can contribute to an enriching and meaningful life (3).
We all have an innate capacity of looking for meaning in our lives, of finding a purpose of the things we choose to do and the cherry on that cake would be that it is something that ends up being appreciated and shared by others too, which encompasses the social block of these three proposed activities.
As depicted above these activities are so simple, enjoyable and are activities which have ironically being deferred to boring or lousy activities as they don't exploit your threshold of dopamine excitement such as a video game or a social media activity.
However going back to the basics is what we all need as a society to start healing, to start connecting, to start really sharing our experiences with meaning of being able to be heard and appreciated by others, which is the ultimately desire that every human being has, and there's nothing wrong with that, if we were born in a human society we were designed to connect, to share, to engage with others as well as help them in their own struggle or journey.
That is a very popular phrase from old times ...“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford.
If we honor the phrase of Henry Ford, we need to become more a society bind by our own divine nature, by the connection of the souls, by the purity of the heart and also find along the way the meaning we're looking for within ourselves, not trying to be "better than" anyone or feel compared to anyone. We our bound by the same energy, however we are not driven by the same purpose and meanings, that's what makes such beautiful everyone's journey.
We will share some destinations with some people during certain moments, however the one purpose that we shall all be looking for is to create a more coherent, congruent and healing environment were we all share our progress without hesitation, doubt or envy.
In the end many people defends its "discoveries or secrets" when in fact is just a modified version of what someone else already said, proved or applied before.
We are bound through an "invisible" thread of energy that goes back to ancient times of wisdom and where in those times, discoveries and knowledge was shared to enlighten more people, to help the understand.
Nowadays, many times knowledge has to be protected with "copyright" or "trademark" when that per se was not even original, was based on knowledge from someone else that created that thing, that discovery, that remedy to be spread, to help others.
When we detach from selfishness, comparison, greed, envy and all the toxic feelings that pretty much society and man created to control the behavior of the masses, we will find the light that we are all looking for, which ironically is within us, in positive feelings such as love, compassion, joy, sharing, connection, empathy and feeling one with others.
We have been conditioned and trained to believe that we have to compete for everything, we have to become the best for everyone, we have no value unless we have the "perfect lifestyle" or "material wealthy life" when in fact many times it has been shown that those styles only create more problems inside and more diseases, because they're basically pulling you away from your true core values.
Another simple and powerful strategy to heal ourselves, when sometimes is complicated for many of us to concentrate in one single thing or to "blank" the mind, is to write what we feel, is to write every story that we have and within that story you will most likely find during your writing the peace you were looking for, during the exercise of journaling you will find the concentration you couldn't have probably closing your eyes.
Moreover, this simple procedure of journaling will connect you to see with more clarity the problems, concerns or worries that your primitive mind created and see them as a simple, most of the times silly creation of that reptilian brain that was designed just to protect you from others but was not designed to discern what is real and what is self-created!.
When you're in the process of journaling, you become immersed in the writing process, which as a physical action will start to help your body and brain the release of positive healing substances such as dopamine, serotonin and as you will of course involve other people in your stories it will also create oxytocin which will enable you to feel a deeper connection with the person that you're narrating your story with and as ironic as it sounds you will probably find that empathy that was sometimes "impossible" to create in a dialogue, mainly because when you engage in a discussion, your primitive brain tends to defend your opinions as they were the solely and unique truth, as well as felling threatened when someone else thinks different from you or disagrees with your opinion.
That is why journaling is also a healing tool to create objectivity and impartiality in the possible arguments that you might have in your mind.
Finally the last activity or resource that we have to find self-healing is exercise, sports, physical activities, engaging our bodies into activities will always turn on many of your self-healing internal processes and even if it seems an activity that has been labeled to be taken with such a serious discipline, it can only mean for you to go on a short stroll to the nearest park or nature like place, and you can even go with one of your best companions which is your favorite music or even an audio book, podcast or just enjoying the sound of the birds and if you're lucky to have a real nature access place, connecting with nature sounds such as the wind in the trees, the songs of the birds, the crushing sounds of leaves on the ground will engage your mind to wander inside of you, will open your prefrontal cortex and release your healing pharmacy such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and moreover BDNF which will allow your brain to generate more neurons, connections and find the solutions to your deepest sorrows or problems.
We have been tricked to think that life is difficult, that life is many times a punishment, that life many times can be devastating, but it is just completely the opposite...Life was meant to be lived with Joy, with Passion, with Excitement, with Love, with Compassion, with Engagement, with Meaning, with Synchronicity, with Empathy and moreover with the Final purpose to be Shared with Others!
In summary, you possess, you have, you own and you can always develop every single one of these simple techniques or activities that will allow you to find more peace, joy, love and compassion within yourself. You don't have to be looking for shortcuts, drugs or nay kind of numbing substance that gives an instantaneous relief but that at the end will end up damaging your inner organs and will also fog your clarity to find your own solutions driving you more to seek outside and ending up in a toxic cycle that then it will be very hard to break!
Believe in you, accept your feelings, embrace your divine gifts and enjoy your dream life that you've always wanted!
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1. Froese, J. E., McDermott, L., & Iwasaki, Y. (Yoshi). (2019). The other side of suicide loss: the potential role of leisure and meaning-making for suicide survivors. Annals of Leisure Research, 1–17.
2. Ortega D. “What Are You Anxious About?”. https://www.davidortegab.com/post/what-are-you-anxious-about. August 06th, 2019.
3. Bianchi, A. (2018). Heal thyself. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(1), 27.