If It Ain't Broke...
I love how there is a wealth of information available to us in the world, and especially that there is more and more information on mental health and wellbeing. We are talking about it and we have an increased collective awareness of what we are experiencing. I think as we continue to talk, the stigma of being “broken” or “messed up” will decrease too, and I think that’s a significant hurdle.
Along with all of this information out there, come the tips and advice and yes, even judgement. An unfortunate consequence of all of this information is that we tend to get the message that we need fixing. The idea of self-help is to see that there is a reason for what we are experiencing, to know that we are not alone, to hope for something better, and provide help in getting there. I believe in self-help and I don’t want to take away from these significant benefits of it.
But I wonder if “something better” equates to “needs fixing”. All too often, that is the assumption that we take in. I’m not “there”, so “here” must not be right. And the truth is, there is no right or wrong. We may have goals for ourselves and want to improve aspects of our lives, but that doesn’t mean that where or who we are in this moment has no value. Even if your circumstances are crummy, you are still you, with all of the wonderful traits, skills and qualities that make you a unique and special person.
We need shy people in the world, and assertive people, we need big-picture-idea people that forget where they left their keys, and detail-focused people that forget to zoom out once in a while. It is okay to not be productive every moment of the day. It is okay to forget people’s names. It is okay to live within your means and not have a lot of extras. It is okay to have a unique body type or physical feature. Of course, if something is interrupting your life, or decreasing the quality of your life, it may need addressing, but not everything needs fixing.
It seems we are always trying to get to the next level or the next thing, looking down the line to where we want to get to. Isn’t it interesting that we never seem to get there, or, if we do, another goal pops up down the line. The goalposts seem to be constantly moving further back. Maybe the antidote is to find things to enjoy about ourselves and our lives right now. Enjoyment flows from recognition – and I don’t mean awards and external validation, I mean recognition as awareness. Actually taking a moment to bring our awareness to something and making a mental note of it, to see the truth of it.
And so, if you find yourself looking for something better, perhaps ask yourself if it is needed, if it will add value to your life. And then, look for where it exists right now. You may be surprised to learn that you are already in a great place, as you are. Or, perhaps, if you would still like to get “there”, you might find that you are closer than you think.