Look Around You

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I had a conversation with an old friend yesterday. It reminded me that we have taken a bite out of the poison apple and we have grown to believe things that are just not true. For some reason, we are under the conclusion that anything worthwhile involves work beyond what is feasible, sweat and tears that drain our soul and a workload that is beyond comprehension. The truth is we are not meant to struggle. Look around you. There is one thing that is really lacking when it comes to most people and that is the quality of the life they are living. We are so overworked, overburdened, and over scheduled. We don’t even have time to sit down and breathe anymore. Our kids are cutting themselves and committing suicide at an alarming rate and the stress levels have reached a record high. Life is meant to enjoy the moments. You are meant to be happy and content. Let go of this belief that you have to destroy yourself to have something worthwhile in the future. The future is so uncertain. For some, it is much shorter than they ever imagine and for others, it takes years to realize they have wasted so much of their precious time. Find balance. There is nothing wrong with hard work but when it is causing you to struggle, that is the time to step back and decide if it’s time to make some changes to protect your own well being.

I watch it everyday. Trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing is killing spirits. Someday, I hope everyone finds the moment when they can take a deep breath and say I am good enough just the way I am. My life is wonderful just the way it is.

Right now I am sitting in Starbucks and there is a college age girl having a conversation at the table next to me. She is distraught. “I feel like I will never fit in.” Those are her words and I hear it all the time. I see it with my own teen. Life and people are structured in a way to not fit in. The journey is about the ability to let go of trying and be just be who you are. For years people struggle to be part of a crowd but when you really take a good hard look at it, is it something you really want to belong to? Life is hard and people are plagued by stress and unhappiness. Look at people when you are out and about. Look into their eyes. If you pay attention, you will notice the light has become very dim. People’s eyes used to shine. Their whole being used to shine and now there is just a lot of dull.

Don’t fall victim trying to be who you aren’t and what you aren’t. Find a way to feel special in your own skin on terms that only you set. Look for the good in yourself and you will eventually start to see it in others. Point it out, make people feel good and in turn they will pass it on. One kind word or one good deed can change a persons entire day. Be that reason for someone and do it today. The world is depending on you.

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9 thoughts on “Look Around You

  1. You were right, our paths were meant to cross; we think very similarly! I love this post, very insightful and beautifully written. Personally, I think it’s a very hard time to be a child. I am SO THANKFUL I grew up before cell phones and the internet. I didn’t compare myself to what rich, ‘successful’ people had or did… I was too busy riding my bike, climbing trees and grass staining my jeans!

    These days with Facebook, instant messages, and cyber bullying, it seems very difficult to be a child. I see children that are 8 or 10 years old acting like mini adults. Why are we letting children be adults??!! I don’t think a small child needs a tablet nor a cell phone, in fact I think it’s counter-productive. The problem is: if an 8 year old goes to class on the first day and is the only one without a phone, guess what… left out, bullied, ostracized. It’s really bad and keeps getting worse. We’re teaching the next generation to grow up comparing themselves to others and living stressed out.

    When I first heard of the ‘lower your expectations to be happy’ philosophy I have to admit, I thought it was a bit counter-intuitive. I thought that by having high dreams and aspirations, and believing in them, expecting them to come true, was a great route. But the more time passes, the more I subscribe to the ‘try your hardest, but be happy with what you have’ philosophy. If your happiness is based upon how comparitively “nice” your life is in when compared to your neighbor’s, you’ll never win. You’ll never be happy.

    We’re all different, LET’S CELEBRATE THAT! I’m great at this and not at that, you’re the opposite, that’s awesome! But it feels like instead of focusing on what people accel at, people focus on what they’re not good at. I read an interesting article about instead of teaching our children to spend all day and night tryinig to improve at something they’re naturally bad at, let’s encourage children to work at what they are naturally built for. If every computer genius had to spend all their time practicing woodshop before they could take a new computer class, we would be blocking many young minds from being happy computer developers.

    Ok, sorry, wrote a novel! lol, your thoughts just sparked something and I got to typing.
    Thanks again, talk to you soon!
    Zac

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    • I am in total agreement. I too am grateful I grew up in a different time period. It is difficult as a parent trying to raise my kids different than most around me. I do not succumb to living a rat race and trying to convince my family it is life. I also do not place importance on so,etching that is fleeting. Yes, there are things a kid will be part of that will make him feel important but I teach my kids to not be defined by a sport they play or a grade they make. Being true to who ThEY are and being strong in character outweighs the value of any silly grade. I think they are starting to get it. I also love the idea you mention of reinforcing someone’s natural strengths instead of forcing so,etching that just doesn’t work. What a wonderful plan and win win for everyone involved. I enjoy the novels so keep them coming 😉 Kim

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  2. You are right. The light is beginning to dim. We see it every day. People have fallen into the trap of not feeling ‘good enough’ and that peace can only be found through escape, whether it be mentally or physically. People are under so much pressure these days to be someone who they are not. That’s not the way it should be. Everyone is special and unique in their own way, for a reason. We were not made to all be the same.

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  3. I read somewhere that we spend our childhood years trying to fit in and the rest of our lives trying to stand-out! You are right, it is all about balance, and one really good life lesson I’ve learned is that just because I’m not doing anything doesn’t mean I’m wasting time! 🙂

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  4. Wow! You said a mouthful and then some! I totally agree with you. While waiting on a bus, I was speaking with this elderly man who works in one of the super markets I frequent. I asked him if he was off work and he said yes, but he was headed to his second job. Then he went on to complain about how lazy some of the young folk are now days. I thought, yes some are lazy and some just know how to enjoy their lives while they can. Here he was an elderly man, looking like he hadn’t slept in days, heading to job number two. And for what? To go home and pass out on his bed from being so wiped out and continue to start the same tiring process the next day. I wondered if he was aware that he was not meant to work so hard, but to also enjoy his life in the process. It was really a sad sight to say the least. Sad that he had allowed society to brain wash him into destroying himself and dim his light.

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    • That is really sad. It is always tough to recognize that look when you see it. Balance. That’s what it has to be about. Life is way too short for anything less. Thanks so,much for your comments! I really appreciate your feedback 😉

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