​It’s OK To Not Be OK

We are living in a generation that is obsessed with finding happiness. The self-help industry is larger than ever, with people searching for more meaning and a better quality of life. Mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude journals are the new cool.

But it also appears that people are becoming lonelier, sadder, and more depressed. What’s worse is that depression gets such bad press and so much stigma surrounding it.

There is no doubt that sadness or grief can be extremely uncomfortable and intense, but perhaps the idea of sadness that society has created makes it more unbearable to welcome than what it actually is to feel. We have no skills to deal with challenging times other than what we learn over time by experiencing life and gaining wisdom. There is a difference between sadness and depression, but if sadness is not dealt with in a healthy way, it can lead to depression. If you want a healthy self, then you need to heal thyself.

Society has taught us to believe that showing “negative emotions” such as sadness is a sign of weakness. It’s crazy to think how much stigma exists around the idea of being sad or depressed. It drives you to wonder if we all live on the same planet or not. The truth is nobody is exempt from suffering and nobody, no matter how rich or successful, is above depression.

Our world is a hectic place filled with connections, possibilities, ideas, and theories. Our world is also energizing and inspiring, but a lot of times it can be exhausting and confusing. It is our duty to equip ourselves with survival skills and to program our mindsets to complement a healthy way of living, thinking, and acting in order to thrive. We must gain the ability to release our thoughts and embrace stillness and conquer calmness in times of turmoil. This involves learning to recognize self-destructive thoughts and ideas and mentally organize them as to what is true and what is false.

It’s time to accept that it’s OK to not be OK. Sadness serves a purpose. It brings excellent information about your life. It’s a natural response to an event or experience in your life. It’s nothing to fear.
The intention of sadness is to tell you something is not right and you need to make changes in your life or perhaps let someone you love go. The idea is to welcome the emotion like you would with any other feeling, invite it and ask it questions, like “what do I need to learn here” and “can I change something about this situation or not?” Breathe. Exhale. Let go.
Do not make the situation worse by torturing yourself with anger and shame for messing up or feeling not good enough. Under all your loud, crazy, false beliefs you are more than perfect.
We simply cannot control every event in the universe. We cannot control other people’s behavior, but we can control ourselves and how we respond to the situation, and the best way to respond is with compassion. Accept the feeling and forgive yourself for being a human being that feels too much and loves too much. Forgive yourself for not being a robot that can simply ignore undesirable moments and events. Being sad is part of life. Treat your feelings with respect and love yourself enough to not use alcohol, drugs, food, or people as therapy. This will make you feel worse. The yucky feelings will not magically disappear by burying them; they will only fester.
You can choose to share your thoughts and feelings with others but don’t expect others to totally understand, because people are all different and pain is incomparable, every situation is handled differently. The only person that truly understands the depths of your feelings is you, and for this reason you must express yourself as much as you like and don’t feel like you need to fight it, this will start a huge inner conflict.
The idea is to acknowledge sadness as a normal emotion just like happiness. Do the inner work and let it go. All of our emotions lead us to knowing understanding ourselves better.
Also, just like our emotions have a valuable purpose, crying also serves us. The emotional tears we shed help the body recover from stressful events by excreting excess hormones such as the old stress hormone and help you to detoxify emotionally. So crying makes you feel better. Now you have every reason to cry it out.

I hope this helped many of you.

In the Words of Charlie Chaplin:

img_20170302_124739_285.jpgI’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another.

Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.
The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder.

 

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

 

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you!
You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

 

Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will!

 

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”

An open letter to all of humanity

I love you.

You have something to offer. You were crafted with purpose, destiny, and worth. You are more valuable than you might ever possibly realize.

You aren’t alone in this journey. You were never meant to carry the weighty burdens of life exclusively on your shoulders. You don’t have to suffer in the emptiness of your solitude.

Look around. There are others just like you. Fellow souls facing identical trials, hardships, and worry. The shadows of uncertainly loom darker with each passing day. This world flails in the grip of impending disaster.

But, you don’t have to be afraid. Don’t bury your head in the sand with the belief that there is no one left who cares. Believe in the goodness of others even when you can’t see it. Choose to see people as an intricate piece in the puzzle of life.

It doesn’t work unless we all fit together.

Sometimes you may have to change your view, twist around to see the bigger picture. Give up your place at the table for the correct piece to find its home.

It’s about treating others with respect, dignity, and compassion even when they don’t deserve it. If we don’t stand for a better way, nothing will ever change. It’s doomed to fail unless we work together.

No one is any better than another. We were all created in and stamped with the same image of our Heavenly Creator. With careful precision, He delicately formed us before the beginning of time.

I believe that, but not because I want you to follow my God.

I believe it because I choose to see the best in people. When I gaze into a mirror, I see more than just the color of my skin and the lineage of my ancestors. I see a world of people standing behind me. I see billions of differences with a common denominator.

We are human.

We all reside on the very same ball of green and blue. We all bleed the same color of crimson. We all have hope that there is something better than what we see churning around us.

If we can’t get past our politics, theology, and opposing beliefs, we will lose sight of humanity. We will forget about our brother, our sister, and only think about ourselves.

We can’t allow that to happen. We can’t afford it.

There are too many who need our help. We can’t be afraid of differences. We need to slam the door on bigotry, hatred, and racism. Of all kinds. Towards all people. No exceptions.

Refuse to live in fear. Refuse to live in paranoia. Refuse to shut out the rest of your fellow man.

It’s time we made a change. It’s time we open our arms to one another. It’s time to drop the labels and stereotypes and do something good for others. It’s time we stop judging someone by the color of their skin or the ethnicity of their heritage. White or black. Red or yellow. Brown or anything else.

If there is a rainbow of life, we are the illumination. We are crayons in a box. Blending together to make this world more beautiful.

Some will read this letter and simply shrug it off as complete nonsense. A pipe dream that exists in some parallel universe far beyond our grasp. But, no one ever said change was easy.

And that’s what is needed. A change.

It has to start within ourselves. We can change the way we treat others. Change the way we speak to others. Change the way we look at others.

One small change, followed by more of the same, will create ripples throughout the ocean of humanity.

I see a better world. I see a future where we care more about our fellow man than we do ourselves. There will always be those who choose a different path. But, they don’t have to be the majority.

Let’s take a stand today.

A stand for love.