“Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
In her book, The Martha Beck Collection: Essays for Creating Your Right Life, Volume One, Dr. Martha Beck explains that you must recognize there are some things you hold out for will never happen. Once you acknowledge this fact, and change your state of mind, you will be in a better position to determine your future.
Many women struggle with the body in which they were born, wondering why they can’t be thinner, taller, bustier…you name it. Dr. Beck emphasizes that you get one body per lifetime that’s uniquely yours. Instead of putting the focus on what you should change about it, find things to appreciate about it. Take at least five minutes a day to practice self-acceptance of yourself–just as you are–and your body will honor you with healing and calmness.
Dr. Beck shares that it’s too late to live your life without purpose. Determining how you want your life to unfold depends upon the way you orient yourself to experiences you encounter. Is “finding yourself” an end goal or a never-ending journey? Envision your life’s purpose as a lighted path that you should follow. If your find yourself veering too far from your purpose, your body will give you negative sensations such as low energy and illness, and your emotions will send alert warnings through sadness and anger.
It’s too late to live on ‘ego candy,’ which is defined as anything you do simply for status or approval. Since your ego tends to want to continually expand, Dr. Beck explains that pursuing happiness through adulation will never happen. Ask yourself four questions before embarking upon something new: 1) Would I enjoy this experience regardless of reaching a perceived goal or outcome?; 2) Would I want to have this experience even if no one knew about it?; 3) Would I have no feelings of superiority or jealousy of others who have or have not done this activity?; and, 4) Would I want to do this even if others found it weird or stupid? If you don’t answer ‘yes’ to all of the questions, then your motivation is ego candy. Nix your cravings for ‘sweets’ and instead, do something that will truly nourish your soul.
Finally, Dr. Beck states that it’s too late to try to change toxic people into healthy people. While some people become more emotionally healthy as they age and gain experience, others don’t. Perhaps they are not psychologically able to do so, or they have no interest. The bottom line is that if you’re trying to attain something from an unhealthy person (such as validation or affection), it simply is not going to happen. This does not make the other person any less worthy than you are. However, as your soul emerges, you will want to surround yourself with people who are bound by the basic tenants of love and compassion.