This is Kaila's how-to guide for overcoming your personal demons. May this also serve as a reminder for my future self who is bound to face more challenges in life. ^^
If you are currently facing your personal demons (or yourself is becoming a frenemie to yourself again), I hope that my 5 suggestions on how to rise up again will open up your mind. ^^
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1. Are you currently unhappy right now because you feel you're not enough? Feel & analyze your feelings. Look at your problem from another perspective. Try to not listen too much from the worst critic (which can be the unhappy version of you). Imagine having a friend who is so negative and discouraging. Would you still like to listen to this friend? Be a nice friend to yourself too! We all deserve nice and positive friends! : )
Got rejected? Lost a work opportunity? Failed a test even if you've done your best? Well, there's still good news! It's not because you are lacking. It just means that maybe, some things are not meant for you this time or better yet, you have greater things in store for you coming your way! KEEP THE FAITH. Don't let one failure to stop you just for that one time. Being rejected from something does not mean that you are not meant for something that we called "greatness". Continue on working on your dreams and allow bumps / challenges here and there that pause you from time to time. Look at these as opportunities to learn, to improve, and to become a better person. I remember the time I failed for the first time in university. Looking back, I think that right now, I am very thankful for that "tiny bump". I became an irregular student but I met more people (whom I wouldn't be able to meet if I did not become an irregular student) and I got to get a better grade the second time around. No matter how cliche it sounds, everything does happen for a reason. You don't have to dwell on your bump longer and hurt yourself more. If you make mistakes, it means that you are learning. The latter is only applicable if you are willing to accept to learn though. So do take the learnings! Those are gems! : )
There will always be bad mornings / nights / days/ weeks / long periods in your life if you decide to prolong those. Acknowledge those but try your best to prevent your bad thoughts to make you feel like you have the worst life. You can never control the things that happen to you or how they treat you, but you will always have the power to control what you can. Your thoughts are up to your hands. Decide that it's going to be an amazing life with or without the bad days, and you will have one. : )
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2. Appreciate. Smile. Be thankful!
Thank others for the simplest or littlest things. Make a gratitude list if you are feeling blue. It's cheesy but it works!
It is so tempting to spend the entire day as a grumpy person who is never appreciative or grateful for another chance (chance = every morning) to change his or her life into something better. People may get a little weirded out by you saying "thank you" so often but by doing this exercise, you don't only make other people's day but you also ATTRACT more positivity and happy things to your life. Become a happy & smiley magnet and drown others with your overflowing good energy. Pass the genuine smile, it's free! : )
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3. Accept that life is going to suck from time to time.. BUT NOT ALL THE TIME.
"Hey you! Life may suck sometimes, but you still rock!"
Repeat this mantra everyday as you see yourself in the mirror. Or even without mirror.
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4. Feeling as if NOTHING good is happening? Everyday feels like boring and.. crappy? Instead of waiting for blessings to come your way or for "good / perfect days" to arrive, do take the initiative to be a blessing to others. You have a purpose why you're still breathing right now. Instead of anticipating, expecting, and just receiving.. why not try the other way around?
Give. Sprinkle. Shower others with your unique confetti! You may feel like an empty shell but please believe in that there is MAGIC when you try to enrich the lives of others. Volunteer, jumpstart some outreach program, be part of a community. Do not be surprised if your life suddenly becomes more meaningful and you become this ridiculously happy person! It's so weird yet so awesome at the same time that when you help a friend / someone who needs you, you are the one whose life is actually being blessed too! When you bless others with a few of what you have, it becomes a domino effect not just to the recipient, but also to the giver (which is you).
Quick personal testimony: When I felt like nothing and got really depressed, even with just a little of my something, I was able to contribute my skills together for a passion project my friends and I worked on together (Kawaii in Manila 1!). And now, we have Kawaii Philippines, an empowering and growing kawaii community in the Philippines. They are my big support group! ^_^
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5. And lastly, here is my not-so-secret secret. I pray. I pray a lot to Him.
This is what has made me to become a stronger and wiser person. I do not know how I would be able to survive everything that life threw at me if I did not pray at all. I don't have any memorized bible verse nor I attend the mass / church regularly, but I have a strong spiritual relationship with my God. In my case, it's not even about religion, it's about Him as my other Dad and me as His daughter, learning her way through life. Sometimes when I would visit shrines / temples here, I would pray there too but my image of God is different, hehe.
I remember the time that when I moved here to Japan, my mom would always remind me that whatever happens to me, I just have to pray. At first, I would have to admit, I did not take it that seriously. But there was this life-changing moment when I felt like I lost everything (and it felt like I lost the soul in me). Inside that small hospital room in a foreign place here in our area, with nobody to talk to (my niece Chisa was also born that day I was confined so everyone was so busy / I was too depressed to call home often)... I just prayed. Prayed all my sorrows, my dreams, my wishes, my hopes, my apologies, and for some reason, it felt like He really listened to me as a friend. A few months ago, I encountered a very sad period in my life again when I lost a loved one. It was so hard that I cried every opportunity I could when I got to be alone. But whenever I would pray, I know that I have a friend who is there to listen and help me take the load off from my shoulders.
For all the opportunities that came to me, it was because I worked hard and I prayed for those to come. When I got a blank passport without Japanese visa for my first attempt, I really prayed that my Japanese dream would come true at the right time. I did fail in my second attempt too (scholarship) but He gave me the best gift after years. An opportunity to study in Japan through the help of my brother. I would not have survived my problematic childhood years if I didn't pray to Him.
I don't have a secret power on how to make my dreams come true but I do have a big God behind me (beside me, in front of me, etc.) to back me up when I need help the most. : )
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Neibuhr
It feels so refreshing and nice to write something so personal once again. Hope you guys learned something from what I have shared! : )
And just like my older brother would always tell me when I'm burnt out at work...
"Don't despair." : )
If you are feeling hopeless right now, do not lose hope my friend. There are brighter days ahead. I can guarantee you that! It's okay to be human and to feel sad over things. But do not let these situations / downtimes define you. You are more than your emotions. You are the great you.
The wonderful you.