27 Ramadan 2017: A Source of Despair from Within (2 of 2)

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself. ― Harvey Fierstein

As a follow-on to my previous post about sources of despair that are form within, the second one is not being who you are.

By not being who you are, you are denying yourself tasks that you feel closely align with your strengths. By not being who you are, you are denying yourself a long term dream and goal that is befitting to how you are meant to make an impact in the limited time you have on earth. By not being who you are, you are not receiving words of encouragement and support from those who truly care about your well-being and success.

This causes one to despair because one often finds themselves uncomfortable and restless for reasons that may not be clear leading to underachievement, productivity and personal satisfaction.

So, be who you are. Speak up. Hang out with people who are giving. Dream big and dream far.

In whatever job or situation you are in, actively work on moving into something that more closely aligns with your god-given strengths and don’t let external factors or circumstances make you give up on that. These circumstances may delay your plans, but don’t give up on them!

 

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26 Ramadan 2017: A Source of Despair from Within (1 of 2)

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ― Roy Disney

It is easier to naturally fall back onto an external reason as to why we despair, and we often forget that sometimes it is from within.

Besides generally engaging in negative internal dialogue leading to despair, there are two other internal sources of despair, one of which is not sticking to your values when making decisions or when faced with various questions and challenges in life.

Why does it lead to despair?

Because not sticking to your values means that you are making a decision you don’t want to make, and that leads to despair as you live out a decision you did not want.

However, while we aim to stay strong and stick to our values, the reality is that we may slip sometimes, so how can we avoid despair?

By remembering that even our wrong decisions happen for a reason and besides working hard to reverse such decisions or related consequences, what we experience is in our destiny and will eventually make us better people.

We learn, and we move on.

Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.― Mandy Hale

 

 

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25 Ramadan 2017: Patience

Patience is not the ability to wait but how you act while you’re waiting – Joyce Meyer

We can’t cover despair without covering patience.

You see, loss of hope means that whenever we face difficulty we get upset and often can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Even when we are able to convince ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we often want it to be closer to us, but that is something we may or may not be able to control, and that is where patience comes in.

Patience, often mistaken as a noun, is actually a verb. In other words, it pertains to an action taken and not just a mere description.

As an action, patience is about complementing the positivity that comes with seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with an internal dialogue that keeps talking of hope and controlling the outer tongue from complaining about the difficulty one is facing.

Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that we don’t speak about our difficulties with others we trust or are more knowledgeable than we are in order to learn more about what we can do to hasten the time of difficulty, I am talking about insistent complaining that neither produces action nor produces hope.

I ask god on this blessed day and night to give us the strength to be patient in bad times as we await relief and in good times as we may not recognize the goodness that befalls us.

Speaking of this blessed day and night, I remind myself first and others that these are the last five or four nights of this blessed month where good deeds are multiplied and goals are set for the next year … let us all make them count!

Let each of us, fasting or not, be the positive news in the world!

 

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18 Ramadan 2017: Moderation and Balance

Everything in moderation, and there’s a perfect balance in this life if we can find it. – Ryan Robbins

Susan Jeffers’, in Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, presents a model for one’s “whole life” (p. 139). It has 9 boxes covering different facets in one’s life as opposed to one or two aspects that if gone, sends one on a downward spiral towards depression, sadness or despair.

Moderation, to me, is having a balanced life in different aspects. We may not be perfect in each sphere, but we are balanced. Being extreme is about putting our eggs in one basket be it work, relationship, kids, friends etc… without taking other spheres into account.

So when we are not where we want to be at work, we look at the other areas to provide balance until we are satisfied with work again, and so forth. So the key is also to have the right “spheres” within our lives that together, give us a balanced and satisfactory life.

I ask god, in this blessed month, to help us identify the different spheres of focus in our lives and help us live our life in moderation practicing patience when things don’t seem* to be good and practicing gratitude when things seem* to go well.

* sometimes we label things good or bad, but in reality, only outcomes can be assessed good or bad.

 

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15 Ramadan 2017: Control

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. – Brian Tracy

I spoke about destiny in an earlier post, in a larger sense, it is about letting go of events and matters in our lives that we cannot control.

Whether it is a child who is adamant about disrespecting, or a person determined to bring negativity to others, or natural disasters or acts of war, or even a bankrupted employer, these are all matters that we cannot control whatsoever.

What we can control however, is how we respond to them and more specifically, responding assertively to events out of our reach or influence.

The first step is to never blame oneself.

The second is to to recognize that just because a certain undesirable event is happening,  it does not mean that I am a victim of it without any say in how I can reduce its impact on myself and my loved ones.

The third step is to seek the learning and the change that is meant to happen within me as a result of me experiencing or witnessing this event for nothing is by chance.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

 

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13 Ramadan 2017: Despair, Criticism and Failure

Do not let arrogance go to your head and despair to your heart; do not let compliments go to your head and criticisms to your heart; do not let success go to your head and failure to your heart.― Roy T. Bennett

What I liked about this quote is how it ultimately presents three key facts when it comes to despair.

The first is that despair is set in the heart. This explains why it is more challenging to let go of the negative feelings that come with despair for if it was rationality, we could logically limit its’ effects on our lives.

The second is that criticisms often negatively affect our hearts leading to despair even if they are neither justified nor warranting feelings of despair in our lives.

The third is that we sometimes take failure so seriously, it affects the state of our hearts in feelings of loss, and despair sets in.

So while criticism and failure does give us feelings of sadness and disappointment, maybe engaging our rationality is a way through to prevent these feelings from taking over our hearts and setting us in on a path of despair.

 

 

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12 Ramadan 2017: Knowledge all the way through

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. – Bertrand Russell

Going on through life without seeking the knowledge to help make one’s life better is like walking across the street blindfolded. So imagine when one is going through a tough time leading to some despair?

The only way through, after depending on god to respond to our need for help to get over the toughest moments, is to understand why we are going through a particular situation, what others have done to get over similar situations and which steps can be taken to overcome the challenges.

In other words, despair is linked to action and movement towards resolving challenges and before we know it, we are busy taking action Deakin with the challenges we face … and pufffff … they disappear.

 

 

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11 Ramadan 2017: Just one more step

Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. ― Napoleon Hill

Feelings of despair tend to initially come when we struggle or fail to achieve our goals and dreams. This then escalates to other areas of our life, from family, to friends, to materials we own and to our own inner spirit.

So, what if we stopped “despair” in its tracks before it escalates?

Part of it maybe is managing our own expectations and adjusting our state of mind on what failure actually means. The other part may be pushing ourselves just a bit more beyond the initial signs of failure, which is not easily done and takes a good support system to help one do that.

In essence, can we stop despair in its tracks before it materialises? I think we can.

 

 

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9 Ramadan 2017: We are all special

Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself. ― Bill Gates

One of the causes of desperation is a worry about not measuring up, or not being as good as a person or another, or feeling “un”special because of a lack of attention online or offline and basically feeling inferior to others.

Inferiority is the antagonist of being the best we can be.

The key is to recognize that we actually don’t need to measure up to anyone other than ourselves. We should not seek to be as good as or better than anyone and we definitely should not seek our worth from other people’s attention, online or offline.

Earl Nightingale is one of my favorite inspirational speaker and thinker. So in today’s post, I wanted to share with you what he said about inferiority from his audio about self esteem.

People have an inferiority complex because they compare themselves to others.

Everyone is inferior in some areas and superiour in others. So a well adjusted person does not get bothered if someone is better than them in something. Inferiority and superioirity are reverse sides of the same coin. The coin itself is spurious.

You are neither … you are simply you. You as a personality are not in competition with any other personality because no one is like you. You are unique and no other person is supposed to be like you. God did not create one person and said this is it, he made each person unique.

We are all different and nothing is by accident.

Your job is to know yourself and like yourself.

You will accept the things you cannot do and appreciate the things you can do and accept yourself as one of a kind.

(Earl Nightingale)

During this blessed month, I ask god to give us a true perspective of ourselves and the ability to see the good in ourselves and be 100% original!

 

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29 Ramadan 2016: Go through it

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

RLWhatever the fear is … whatever you worry about … whatever fears that others try to push on us … let us go through it.

I originally wanted to say that we should try overcome it or ignore it or look beyond it but in fact, I think going through it, i.e. recognizing it, analyzing it, choosing a position and acting to dispel the fear within ourselves, is the most effective way forward for humanity.

It is the only way that helps us see truth from lies and dispel strategies to control likes and dislikes to freedom to experience the beautiful aspects of life that fear rips away from us.

Today … I ask god … in the last blessed night of this glorious month, to help us recognize our fears and see them as fears and not as truths. I ask god to help us go through these fears without letting them stop us from living the best life we can.

 
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