My own computer was not cooperating, so I am writing this brief post at school. I think over the past week I have come to recognize and value simplicity in my life. I don’t mean to say simple-mindedness, I mean weeding out the fluff, unnecessary hassles and people in my life. I have gotten better and being clear, direct, and saying no when I mean no. I have been happier lately than I have been in a long time by simplifying my life and focusing on myself. It’s hard, though, when in the past I feel like I have had to be so in tune with the needs and the moods of others. When you grow up in a household of yelling and tension, you become hyper aware of other people’s mindstates and behaviors. And as a child, you come to think that you cause these mindstates and behaviors in others, or strongly influence them. Sometimes it is hard to not be codependent, when you grew up needing to be to survive and instead recognize that you can be “ok” while other people are “not ok.” The point is to not take on other people’s problems and negativity to your own detriment. That has been extremely hard for me to learn in my personal life, though I can do it in my professional life quite well as a counselor. Personally, my parents seem to be pretty negative people, and that is what I’ve learned from. It’s hard for me to not catastrophize and have a dark cloud hanging over me. Here is some of what I have learned that has helped simplify my life:
- All of the things on your to do list might not be realistic to get done in one day, and that’s ok. Learn to be ok with giving yourself “process” time to just be.
- Other people’s reactions to you likely reflect more about themselves than you. Do not waste all of your energy trying to figure out what you might have done differently to influence their behavior/have a different outcome. What happened happened, you may have had a part in it or not, but in the end you can’t control what other people think or do.
- Take time to do what you enjoy. If you aren’t enjoying yourself from time to time, then you’re doing life wrong.
- Some people will absolutely use you if you let them. Don’t let them. This does not mean don’t trust people, it means to discern. Have people earn your trust and you teach them how to treat you and what is acceptable to you. Do NOT accept everything and everyone like I used to. You don’t have to, and it will make you ill.
- Not everyone has to like you. You will be ok if they don’t.