Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
–Pope John XXIII
It is far easier said than done and I am just as guilty of what I am stating we should not do as anyone else, but I wake up every morning and I convince myself that I am me and I should not let anyone else define me but myself. Too often, we allow others control. To learn how to see before we do, and prevent ourselves from allowing any wrongdoing, is a step in the right direction of one’s genuine self; but this takes time and several stumbles along the way. I strive to learn rather than to regret; some days it is easier than others but I refuse to let anything negative stop me. Regret, in my opinion, is one of the ugliest words we can use to describe our past and I refuse to allow it to hinder me.
Regret does nothing positive for us or our mental well-being. What is regret? It is a negative feeling that breeds from negative emotion. Why? We look at an action, comment, or experience that consumes our thoughts, the emotions stemming from it, and we allow those emotions to take over as opposed to logic. When we regret something, we refuse to take responsibility and we desire to find a scapegoat. Why allow ourselves to feel bad about an action that we chose to commit in the first place? If we realize that the results were not what we desired, then we should not become consumed by negative thoughts, we should learn from it and choose to see it as a stepping stone… find the positive in it. When we accept responsibility, and we do not try to defend our actions but rather understand them, we tend to learn more about ourselves.
Have the courage and the strength to accept yourself as you are rather than how someone else thinks you should be. Before we can know others, we must know ourselves and before we can love others, we must love ourselves. Knowing and loving who you are as a person is one of the most difficult things to achieve and few of us rarely do. I know it is difficult for me to accept things about myself but I strive every day to build a better relationship with myself and to accept who I am. To be true to oneself, it takes insight, sincerity, honesty, and integrity. Before we can live for others, we must live for ourselves. And most importantly, before we can trust others, we must learn to trust ourselves. It takes years to build up trust, but only seconds to destroy it. You can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes; after that you’d better have learned something. Don’t compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do. It’s not what happens to us that is important but what we do about it. You either control your attitude or it controls you. It isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others… sometimes we have to learn to forgive ourselves.
We must define ourselves instead of letting others define us. Unfortunately, too often, we do not and we allow others’ stereotypes and expectations of who we should be, conquer our lives. By allowing others to have such control over our lives, it is as simple as attaching strings to our beings, handing those strings over to someone else, and be doomed to be controlled by a metaphorical puppet master. Questions such as, “Why do I want to……….?” Should always be answered by “Because I want to” and never “Because so and so said/did/heard,etc…” Our happiness is dependent on us and nobody else so, why allow someone control over our other emotions?
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” I should not have to and will not always be worried about what people think about me, on the contrary, I strive to have the courage to stand up and proudly say, “This is who I am. What you see is what you get and if you don’t like it, move along. I will never again try to change who I proudly am for anyone and you are no exception.” I will always strive to be a good person; and I will always strive to improve my education, my outlooks, and myself. Life’s little challenges, although we feel like we are being tested, are just little lessons along the way to learning who we are. Embrace those challenges and learn to achieve in spite of them. Our philosophy and attitude about our lives is not measured by our words but by our choices and actions so in essence, the choices we make are our own responsibility.
There will always be individuals who choose to create chaos. They are miserable in their existence and choose, because it is a choice, to spread that misery since as cliché as it sounds, misery loves company. Do these people truly know who they are? Or are they so blinded by underhanded motivations to honestly see who they are? In turn, instead of using that energy to create havoc, motivate yourself to understand yourself and why you are not happy. Attitudes, whether positive or negative, are extremely contagious. Positivity breeds more positivity and negativity breeds more negativity. It takes far less energy to be negative. So why be lazy?? Be positive!!
Those who know others are intelligent
Those who know themselves have insight.
Those who master others have force
Those who master themselves have strength.
Those who know what is enough are wealthy.
Those who persevere have direction.
Those who maintain their position endure.
And those who die and yet do not perish, live on.