Since being diagnosed with depression I have been seeing a psychologist around every 2-4 weeks. My appointments are slowly getting further and further apart as I learn to cope with things better on my own and my thought processes begin to change. A lot of the things I have been talking about are simple things, feelings of being stretched or overwhelmed and situations with people that I haven't properly reflected on to learn what I can do better.
One of my major obstacles is my constant comparing and assessing against others. I want to do things right and this need to do things the 'right way' often overrides what I think I should do or what is right for me. I seek approval and justification in everything I am doing. If someone close to me makes a comment on my lifestyle I take their opinion seriously and stress about what they have said until I can fix it. On the other hand if I disagree with them I cause an argument constantly justifying myself. I desperately need to learn to care less about what other people think and say but also without trying to change their opinion. I need to stop judging myself through the eyes of others. One thing a lot of people including myself need to learn is that what works for one person wont always work for others, we should try to stop forcing our opinions on others or give advice when not warranted, we don't know what challenges the person faces everyday and so therefore what we think may make their life better could be wrong. We should care about the people around us and when they need us most we should be there for them ready to help them. If someone is acting destructively we can observe and think we know what would help them but they are never going to change until they are ready so all we can do is be there to help them and in the meantime lead by example. Understanding this will help me to learn that what others do wont necessarily work for me and that I should do what feels right to me. There is no right way of living life, it is whatever works for you. It will help me to stop seeking approval and justifying myself. I will begin to understand that other people that judge how I live have a problem within themselves as they haven't yet learnt that everyone needs to do what is right for themselves. It will also help me to stop trying to change others and to be a supportive friend, I will hopefully have less arguments with my Dad too.
I know I am not perfect
And I don't live to be
But before you start pointing fingers
Make sure your hands are clean
To fix my second obstacle of comparing myself to others is quite simple, I just need to be realistic and logical. There is usually some part of every persons life which is not getting the attention it deserves, some aspect is missing out. For example, an overweight person who has a loving family, a well cared for home and a good career isn't giving their body and health the attention it deserves. While a skinny healthy looking person, with a great career and relationship may have a smelly, dirty, untidy house. All I really needed to do was to confirm what my main priorities are. There is never going to be enough time in the day to have all aspects of ones lifestyle working beautifully and smoothly, something will always be missing out.
My three priorities for my life are:
My three priorities for my life are:
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
You're probably thinking 'OMG what about her housework or career' but to be honest as much as these things complement my lifestyle they are not the most important things to me. Although I love living in a clean and tidy home as it settles me and makes me feel at home, I do tend to hate cleaning. I also enjoy going to work and love a challenge but I can't wait to be a mum and a wife one day and know this will be my true calling. For me, one day when I am laying on my death bed I will know that I have put everything I could into the relationships in my life that are important to me. I think a lot of marriages end in divorce because people are too busy to give their relationship the focus it deserves. I look at life and consider it to be pretty crap without the beautiful people around me so I must focus on sustaining these relationships.
Looking after my mental health will make me a better person with more patience and love to give. This is a pretty fun one to have on my list as it means I can relax or do things I love, knowing they are contributing to better mental health. And if my house gets so messy that it makes me stressed well then I have to clean it as otherwise I wont be looking after my mental health.
Lastly, taking care of my physical health will mean I am a generally happier person, with more energy and will hopefully live longer. Who wouldn't want that on their list?
So if you visit me and the lawn isn't mowed or you think I could try harder at work, you know what? I don't really care :P Go mow you're own lawn. I might just be thinking 'well my lawn may not be mowed but at least I have a loving relationship, or at least I am not a constant crabby bum'. Be careful, when you judge others you open up your own world for judgement and no one is perfect.
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.What are your life priorities and why? Have you known these all along or struggled before realising them?