This afternoon I went to several bookstores because I wanted to buy a map for Davao City. Although I have been there several times I still want to reenact the experience of getting lost somehow, discovering new places I haven’t been to and just exploring the city and the nearby island which is Samal Island. I found the perfect map that will accompany me in this adventure and as I was about to pay at the cashier, my feet betrayed the idea of just paying for the items I got and leave. I strolled through several bookshelves but I do not exactly know what to look for. As usual, there were several fiction books on stands away from the other books which I think are the bestsellers and non fiction books and other books (bookstore-duh). Nowadays I have been more into reading non fiction books especially memoirs, I saw a young woman in her early twenties skimming through book after book after book. She was looking through a self-help books rack which consists of books mostly about depression. I felt her misery after putting a book back to the shelf and picking up another book. With much regard I asked her what book was she looking for, she looked up to me and said nothing in specific. She just wanted a book that will somehow help her understand her feelings. With that in mind, I then quickly thought of what book I will be reading if I was in her position but I said something she did not possibly think I would say which was to write. She seemed gloomy and in pain. As she was about to turn her back she said “Thank you” and walked away. I honestly did not know what she is dealing with at the moment but anyone who is sensitive enough can feel that something is weighing her down. I do not know if that is just me but that look within her eyes tells me that I was right.
I told her to write instead of suggesting a book or books because when I was at the bottom end of my world I read a number of books to console myself and truthfully those books did soothe me but it did not help me heal myself the way I want to and that is when I started writing. I poured in every emotion, every bitterness and pain I have felt into writing. True, it did not gain me a lot of readers nor followers in this blog but it healed me. Being able to capture those feelings encouraged me to conceive my strengths and weaknesses and to appreciate the yet wonderful life I am about to live once I have totally felt the pain and desolation that experience brought me.
While I was waiting for my turn in booking a cab I then realized that I want to write something about having these kind of downers and why it is okay to let oneself immerse into these negative disturbances in life. I wonder how many people are there that are in this kind of situation such as the young lovely woman I saw in that bookstore?
Whether you are lamenting over a loss of a loved one, a failed, unfulfilled or hurtful relationship, got fired from work just because your boss thinks that the co-worker whose desk is across you does a better job than you do even though he is such a complete douchebag and who is wasting office time by playing Solitaire on the computer the company has provided him to work with or maybe over a friendship that ended because one or both of you feel that you are pulling each other down instead of up or even a simple misunderstanding with a sibling or a parent. Whatever your reasons are, no matter how deep nor shallow it is, you need to TAKE TIME and linger in this pain, feel the agony and explore the burning sensation of such madness that is taking a toll over your life. I do not mean to be depressed and forget about what other things that life has yet to offer but what I am saying is letting yourself be in this pain, feel the pain and to take time to completely heal yourself is MUCH better than just to ignore it and pretend nothing has ever happened. Being able to consciously act upon these feelings and be able to overcome such negativities in your life will EMPOWER and strengthen yourself and be able live a newly renewed life.
I can by all means remember the things I have done to try and try to learn from the pain I felt when I hit rock bottom and how much I yearned to really feel those moments and more so how to overcome such unpleasant experience I had. One thing I only want to relive is the memory of how I stood up and how I conquered after the storm.
Oh how I cried a lot – every single day. The tears I shed was perhaps enough to fill a bath tub. There is no better way to feel the shattering pain other than to cry. Cry until you ran out of tears. Yes! it does ran out after a while. You will realize this as you start to grow stronger everyday. Letting yourself to just cry freely will help you feel relieved afterwards. You may cry again but it does not mean that you are back to square one. Just let it flow until it stops. It will stop eventually just give it some time.
I went back to boxing, I jogged every single night and I enrolled myself into cycling. You may ask me how the hell are you going to have the gut to exercise when you are so down? Well, one of the best way to overcome negative thinking is to exercise. It helps your body and mind to be active. You do not exactly need to do what I did but even a simple walk around your neighborhood or anything that interests you; may it be swimming or basketball or hitting the gym it doesn’t matter as long as you try to be active. One thing I realized with this is that it somehow lightened up my load of burdening luggage. It gave me more energy to face the trials I had and it motivated me in pursuit of a happier life.
3. Get ENOUGH Sleep
1-5 hours of sleep is not enough. Indulge yourself into an 8-hour sleep. Let your mind have some peace and let your body relax as your emotions are undergoing some major construction. Lack of sleep or too much hours of sleep has a direct connection on how you will feel after waking up and those are related to stress and easy irritability. You are still nursing your emotions so don’t let other things add up to your already sad self. You are trying to become better and not worse.
4. Don’t do ANYTHING that YOU Know You Will Regret Once the Storm is Calmed
“I wish I have known better” and “I wish I followed my intuition”. I told these things to myself when I got back to the other side of my world where there is sunshine and happiness. When I was at those moments in my life wherein I felt like I was beyond the bottom of the Underground River I did things I know I will never do if I was just thinking straight. I let my emotions cloud my judgement and truthfully, those were the times I regret the most. I am not going to elaborate on the things nor activities I did. YOU know yourself. You know what you want to do with your life and maybe at this very moment you are feeling down and lost but DO NOT LET that cloud your judgement. When you feel like doing something and yet your intuition tells you not to then I am telling you, do not do it. Pull the plug of such disastrous idea and go do something else. Watch a HAPPY movie or talk with one of your closest friend, or take a long bubbly bath instead (Get that vanilla scent scrub! It feels like the closest thing to heaven). If you really want to communicate with someone and you feel no one can nor will connect with you then go ahead and contact me. I will be more than glad to listen to you. Please do know that THERE IS someone who is more than willing to listen to you. You are not alone in this journey.
It is vital that you forgive those who have hurt you in exchange of having a peace of mind. More importantly though is letting yourself forgive yourself. Forgive yourself of what you think you have done wrong nor forgive yourself of allowing yourself be vulnerable to such anger, pain, resentment or grief. When you start to forgive, you are lifting that weight on your shoulders allowing you to breathe comfortably and freely. You do not need to forgive right away especially if you are not yet ready but do not take too much time before acting upon it. Forgiving is an important ingredient in becoming or rather feeling fully happy within yourself.
Like what I said to that young woman, I wrote everything that I want to write. I do not care how bad or unfavorable my written stories I used to share here in my blog as long as I am writing. The reason why I took it into writing is for me to be able to see myself in written words and for me to manifest on those words that I have written. It was like an open journal (P.S. I did not tell my friends nor family or anyone who knows me personally about that blog) for anyone who do not know me to read it but more importantly for me to reflect on it. It answered my questions such as: “Is this the kind of woman I want to be?”, “How long am I allowing myself to be in such mess?”, “What steps do I need to take to overcome this sadness, this pain, this anger and allow myself to live my life happy?” ANYONE can write. So try writing your story today; whether thru an online journal, a simple notebook or even on the brown paper bag that was used to carry your groceries. It doesn’t matter where you write, what matters is what YOU want to write.
7. Listen to Upbeat Songs
Listen to songs that will help you feel good about yourself. The song that was on repeat on my phone is a song called “The Sun is Rising by Britt Nicole”. What I love about the lyrics of this song is that it acknowledges the feeling of being down, however as the song progresses it tells you that “you can make it” whatever it is that you are going through. It is actually not an upbeat song but I am into lyrics more than the tune of the song. Listen to those songs that will help you pave your way to happiness as oppose to heart breaking, nerve shattering songs that will left you feel more gloomy as the tune closes.
8. Discover a New Hobby
Or if you already have a hobby but is left unfinished because a storm suddenly decided to go your way and demolish and fracture you then take this time to reconnect to it. Hone those skills and practice the craft you are pursuing. This will not only help you be better at what you want to do but more importantly it will keep on motivating you to do better and to become better.
9. Spend Time with your Family and Friends
What better way to rekindle those lost times you have not spent with them but now. Go out on a trip, plan an all girls or all boys night out, go camping or whatever it is that interests you as long as you spend it with the right set of people, the next thing you know you are close on your way to being happy and feeling good about yourself.
Like what Stephen King said, “books are a uniquely portable magic”. Read books that are light and I suggest something out of this world such as Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrines’s Home for Peculiar Children. It easily transports you to another dimension wherein you will be able to enhance your imagination thus promotes good and positive thinking. If you are not into such, then perhaps go with Harry Potter (which I really love too). Steer clear from love stories or romantic stuff specially if you are dealing with a broken heart. ‘Nuff said.
For the past twenty-seven years of my existence, I had this one prayer wherein I was really sobbing hard that it was so hard for me to speak, I was on my knees praying or rather begging for Him to vacuum out all the bad things I felt and to let me see the sunshine. I let myself cry so hard that I wanted Him to see how painful it was for me. I cannot and will not tell you to pray mainly because that is your choice. We may not share the same religion or beliefs but what I am sharing at this number is what I did at that very difficult moment in my life. Anyone has the freedom to choose if he or she wants to pray or not. It is ultimately YOUR choice. But let me tell you this, HE LISTENED AND WILL LISTEN.
12. Support OTHER People
You may wonder how are you supposed to help other people when you in fact are still helping yourself. I had the same question. There is this women’s shelter that I have been dying to help out not monetarily alone but to give and share my time with these women who were scorned and finally I did it. Some of these women had an abortion, some were planning to commit abortion and some were battered. One thing that I importantly realized as I carve my path to happiness is that helping other people to aid them in feeling good themselves is another way on how you will better motivate yourself towards happiness. It gave me a sense of fulfillment and direction and a much greater sense of becoming a better version of myself. Help other people. It may not be exactly how I did but even those simple gestures such as sharing a seat with someone or helping a friend to get something done. Lend a helping hand. It will do good for the other people but believe me on this one; it will do you better – will help you feel better and be better.
No matter what you are going through at this very moment, one thing I will say is NEVER GIVE UP. You may feel lost and helpless today but a day will come wherein a sun will fill up every single shallow space that you have and cover it with happiness and when it arrives, you will look back on such moments that certainly have taught you invaluable lessons that you know you will never know unless such difficulty, trial or challenge have occurred. These trials and difficulties are bound not to challenge your strength but rather to strengthen you further as you explore the other areas of life.
With much love,