One of the hardest things in life can be confronting our own self. This is the sense of existential angst – regardless of who you are and what you have in life. Coming face to face with oneself in the mirror – that ultimately we have to live with ourselves, in ourselves.
This is not always a comfortable place for many and it is not surprising that many turn to more pleasurable outlets such as sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling -anything to escape from reality! But at the end of it all, we are still left staring ourselves in the mirror, possibly feeling even worse.
So is there a solution? Well yes. It lies in recognizing that this is part of the human condition. Alone, tough, and challenging as it may feel, recognizing that we are not the only ones going through this can help a little. This is the time we are required to be our own best friend.
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Compassion and self-soothing is what is required – not loathing, fear or hate. We have all stuffed up somewhere, sometime along the way. We all have issues – family, money, relationship, health or housing. We have needs and wants and some remain unfulfilled. But we also have a lot to be grateful about.
For many of us, simply the ability to move; to have a roof over our heads, be with family and or friends, or have work which is intrinsically fulfilling; that we are we are still living and breathing.
Last year my dearest friend, colleague and muse committed suicide as did my previous neighbor – a nurse – who was only in her 30’s. I heard the news the same week and I was rocked. Losing people you love and care about is profound.
As we get older, we lose many of those special to us and our own capacity and functioning. As my 88 year old friend, Norm, used to say, “Any day above ground is a good day !” So let us celebrate today.
Be grateful for what is present and working in our life. Let us reach out to one another, help someone in need. Whatever we put out comes back to us manifold and let us also as Rick Hanson –Neuropsychologist and New York Times best-selling author advises: Let us then “Take it in.”
Jasbindar Singh is a leadership coach and business psychologist who loves helping her clients achieve their goals.