When dealing with human struggle, we as a society, have become so good at judging the outcomes of other people’s journeys and have completely missed the pain they are in whilst simultaneously having little, to no insight, into our own struggles. We have simply missed the very fact that our wellbeing as humans, either mental, physical or emotional is always vulnerable.
Now I’m not saying live in fear, the world is scary, doom doom doom, what I am trying to highlight is that people don’t wake up one day and suddenly implode their life, there are lots of things that we as a modern society have normalised or ignored that have terrible effects on our wellbeing but there are 3 big signs that everyone misses that, if noticed would significantly change outcomes for those involved.
During my work of first reflecting on my own struggle and then studying others, is that the single biggest waring sign that everyone misses is self esteem. I believe this happens because we haven’t placed any importance on personal or emotional intelligence like we have academic intelligence. Self esteem is so important to well being because it needs to be grounded in truth, the vulnerability lies in the way it can be destroyed at either end of the spectrum. If someone has a very low self esteem, then they have let impacts from their internal or external environments take hold and destroy the truth of who they are and hope is greatly diminished and they have no awareness of what they are actually meant to contribute uniquely, as part of the fabric of society. Coping with pain is often dealt with un resourcefully.
Equally as vulnerable is a person with high self esteem, as once again it is not grounded in truth, it is often wrapped up in achievements, career or status. This makes the person very vulnerable despite success. How many times have we seen someone struggle who we thought ‘had it all.’
Its all an illusion unless it is grounded in truth and that only comes from talking to others and spending time developing personal intelligence.
The next sign that is missed is self care. I’m not talking about superficial grooming, I’m talking about, fighting for your wellbeing on a daily basis and listening to your body and showing up for you in a way that is restorative. The concept of self care has been somewhat hijacked by certain industries and so it can be confusing to people about what it actually looks like to self care.
It has been hijacked by the ‘Me Time’ crowd who want to just find a bunch of other people who are using unproductive ways to band aid their pain and justify an adult reward system that only encourages poor coping strategies and existing rather than living mentality of happiness pinned elsewhere – holidays, weekends, after toilet training etc
When our very basic human need – well being – is ignored and not nurtured through self care, all kind of other compromises tend to follow. It is also the reason for burnout and the inability to give to others in a way that they need because, you cannot give what you don’t have. Self care is not Selfish it is soul restoring and it involves once again having an honest conversation with yourself and articulating ones restorative needs and how they they can be met, by you for you – blaming others for you not having time for self care is Bullshit. Show up for you and watch your capacity grow in every way.
Self Awareness is by far and away the big one we have missed. We have moved so far as a society from world wars etc to be so technologically advanced yet as human beings our personal and emotional intelligence has halted and in some ways even regressed. The devastating health outcomes of our ‘Modern’ society is appalling – How have we come so far yet gone backwards at the same time.
It comes down to lack of self awareness, intuition and instinct. No one is curious, we just swallow whole whatever is pumped out on the TV, radio, internet or in print media as FACT.
If there is a fear igniting statistic, next to an obscure notion its believed as truth. No one bothers to ask the question ‘who benefits from me thinking this way?’ We are still as a modern society operating in ‘survival mode.’ We make reactive emotional decisions, not intentionally aware, connected decisions. Self awareness is a gift not only to yourself but to others because the more that you know about you, even the messy parts of you, resting in your own humanity with self compassion, reaps enormous benefits for the depths of relationships with others and the capacity to be compassionate towards others humanity.
The key indicator of all struggle is the overwhelm that precedes it, be it mental, environmental, physical or emotional and either actual or imagined. As terrible as it is that this fact continues to be overlooked while we hurry to patch up people quickly because we are ill-equipped to deal with our own pain let alone others, the true tragedy lies in the simple acceptance of our own humanness and failure as a society to devote as much attention to the evolution of self as it has to material and technological gain.
I humbly urge EVERYONE to spend some time with you and reflect on these points and you will be surprised about what you didn’t know, that you didn’t know, about yourself. Practice it daily and the world will change.