(Note: This post is two of a four-part series. Previous – Part 1)
Reason #3: There are others who feel like you do
The first thing to realize is that you are not alone. There are so many people out there who feel just like you do. There are some who recover, like I did. And there are some who did not take steps to overcome. You do have a choice in your future. You do have the power to make a change.
I made that choice years ago. I chose to exercise that power, and overcome the intense feelings of despair, guilt, shame, self-hate, anger, and the desire to leave this life behind. I am so glad that I did, because I found out that I am a beautiful mix of strengths and weaknesses, and I do make a difference in the lives of others. I can love. Myself and those around me.
Reason #4: You are unique
No one else in this world has your combination of strengths, weaknesses, abilities, skills, thoughts, talents, emotions, and make up. That, in itself, is a miracle.
Every person on this planet has strengths, just like you. But they also have weaknesses, just like you. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that what people portray is not who they really are. Anyone can act like their life is perfect. Even I learned how to do that!
I remember going to a therapist and he asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was super depressed. He wrote down “happy-depressed” on my chart. Meaning, I acted happy to fool the world when deep down I was crying in hopelessness. I have seen countless marriages that seem picture-perfect that end in divorce. Countless women who smile like everything is going their way, and at home they are cutting themselves. Don’t let those masks fool you. The world is full of people who struggle with ugly stuff they have been through.
Reason #5: Your strengths are your crowning glory
If you are depressed, feeling despair, or feel like giving up, it is hard to see the strengths and talents that you have. They are there! In fact, you have more than you are aware of. They are just hard to find when your mind is struggling. For now, find one thing you are good at. Just one. Write it on a sticky note and place it on your mirror. Every morning, close your eyes and focus on that talent or ability. That special part of you is a gift to yourself and to others. Now, use that gift.
Since you are a combination of positives and negatives, begin to point out the positives to yourself. If you permit yourself to count your flaws, then allow yourself to count your good attributes. It’s a balance.
Next time you think of another strength, write that on a sticky note and put it on your mirror right below the first one.
Next – Part 3