What makes us miserable

Acceptance is not about taking what makes us miserable, shutting it in the closet, throwing away the keys, numbing the feelings that inevitably it will keep us giving, and pretending as if that does not exist.

Acceptance is taking what makes us miserable, understanding it, putting it front and center for a while, making friend with it, finding a way to go about our days despite it. Until eventually it will go shut itself in the closet by itself.

The former approach will make misery expand and take new forms. The latter will make it go away once and for all.

Two different ways. Two very different outcomes.

You stay

When you are in a bad mood, your productivity goes down. The quality of your work is not as good as usual, even getting started feels painful. You are cranky, you put negative narratives first, you fail to appreciate what good there is.

Being in a bad mood also poisons everything around you. And most importantly, it makes people in your life be in a bad mood to.

There is no remedy to being in a bad mood. It just happens.

The only sensible thing to do is put all the residual resources into breaking the direct link between the mood and yourself. Indeed, often when you are in a bad mood, you look at yourself as a bad person too. That’s dangerous.

Moods come and go. You stay, often improved. If you can appreciate this difference more, nothing will stop you.

To meet an emotion is first to acknowledge it and then to feel it enough to get the message it carries. The feeling carries the message but it isn’t the message, and we won’t get the message without feeling at least some of the emotion. The message, of course, is very likely to be a form of emerging self-knowledge.

Dan Oestreich, How To Meet A Strong Emotion

As little as possible

We worry about outcomes, about others, about our thoughts, about others’ thoughts. About projects and plans. About the world, the media, and the result of elections thousands of kilometres away. About feelings, about effects. About the presentation we are giving tomorrow. About the email we are about to send. About the future of our kids and of humanity in general. About the pandemic. About our favourite team. About the next job. About not having a job.

We worry about this and much more. And we gradually wear off.

Make worry last as little as possible.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows. It empties today of its strength.

Corrie Ten Boom

The most important person

The most important person in the world is you.

There is no job that will make you feel great, successful, complete if you are not well.

There is no relationship that will make you feel appreciated, rewarded, loved if you are not well.

There is no friend that will make you feel important, happy, improved if you are not well.

Take good care of yourself. Before you reach out, before you help, before you start, before anything else.

Take good care of yourself and make a practice of it.

You will always be ready.