For the last few months, and even more so the last few weeks, I have been feeling incredibly in tune with myself. I have always been very good at exercising self-reflection and understanding why I act the way I do, or why I date the people I date etc etc. That is why I have always been good at spotting out when I am in a bad place – if you know yourself well, you also know when you are putting yourself through bad situations and you know what causes you pain.
I knew why I ended up in relationships with aggressive men, but I did not know what tools to use to avoid doing it – so I went to counselling. I knew why I had death and existential anxiety, but I did not know what tools to use to avoid getting such bad panic attacks – so I went to counselling for a second time. When I felt like I had accurately dealt with the issues that were causing me pain and was in a balanced mental place, I went on to explore remedies which would potentially help me remain balanced and happy – hence why I stopped taking the pill, started introducing crystals into my life, switched to a plant-based diet, and stopped drinking and going out as much.
It makes me incredibly happy when I encounter people, especially within the last week, who tell me that they can see I am more balanced and harmonised than I was for example a year or two ago. Who tell me I spread good energy and inspire them. I mean my journey is for me, first and foremost, but if it means that I can spread some of the positive energy to others as well, all the better! My theory is that if you are content and happy with yourself, you also have more to give to others. If I fill my own basket first, I can give you some of my fruits when I am done. But if I don’t fill my own basket first, I will have no fruits to give to either of us.
That being said, I still encounter people who are annoyed by me or who annoy me – that is just life, you are not always going to get along with everyone or like everything everyone does (I mean, there is no crystal in the world that will decease my annoyance for slow walkers during London tube rush hour)! But I often get asked how I not let people’s opinions of me get to me, and truth is I have always been good at not really caring what people think of me, because I noticed very early on in life that what one person might praise you for, another might hate you for.
Nevertheless, it can be hard to never let anything get to you, especially when it comes to family, relationships or friends. It might sound harsh, but something my first counsellor told me has been so vital to my own peace of mind in such situations: “If someone has a problem, it is their problem.” This statement, which is pretty simple and straightforward, really changed my life. Because not only does it apply to other people, but also to myself.
For example, if I feel a certain way about someone’s behaviour or a comment someone made, it is my problem. The person who has made me feel that way, is probably as happy as a clam, going about their normal business, without a thought in the world that I might be annoyed at them about something they did or said. Hence, me being annoyed is only taking time and energy from me. Time and energy I will not get back.
And vice versa! If someone is annoyed at me, that is their problem. Nomi Leasure said in a recent interview she did with She’s Not Sorry: “You encounter people where you can tell this isn’t about you, this is something that they’re carrying from their past or their psyche.” Then it is just better to not engage emotionally, because it will drag you into whatever they are going through and will most likely cause both of you to be unhappy.
I think why so many people have difficulty with this is because us humans have this natural instinct to wanting to be liked and respected. If you are liked and respected within the community this will get you further in life in terms of social circle, career, earning a living and being able to provide for yourself, your offspring etc. And while there is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked and respected, it is important to somewhere stop and think if being liked and respected is making you happy, or if it is causing you unnecessary stress. I realised that me caring about what other people do, say, or think about me or my behaviour was just causing me unnecessary stress and was getting in the way of me being my happiest self. So I stopped.