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depression

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Following Your Dreams

Last week Sunday I had an interesting conversation with my dad. For a little over a year I have been battling depression and I have developed a tendency to retreat into a very dark place when my depression is at its peak. Life had begun to be meaningless to me. Every day I woke up wondering what I was living for...why I had to be alive. However, there is one thing that my dad said that has stuck in my head, "When you give up on your dreams your life becomes pointless. Never give up on your dreams." Dad has no clue what I battle daily. In fact, no one does. But that statement made me feel as though he was seeing my thoughts and putting them on the right trajectory. Life is pointless when you lack vision and hope. Life is meaningless when you refuse to dream. I prefer using the phrase "follow your dreams" instead of "chasing your dreams" because the word chasing implies that your dreams are running away from you. That's not the case. Regardless of who you are, your dreams should be a constant vision in your mind. They are there to encourage you when all hope seems lost. They are the guide that takes you on a path of great success, even if they seem elusive. 

There are three key principles that I believe can help all of us to hold steadfast to our dreams.

Be Optimistic

Pessimism and negativity serve one purpose- draining my energy. I am sure that both of these characteristics drain your energy as much as they drain mine. If you view yourself and your life negatively then it stands to reason that you will view life as pointless. Make a conscious decision to view the positive in every situation, regardless of how bleak that situation may seem. Positive thoughts attract positive experiences. 

There is ALWAYS a Lesson to be Learnt

One of the greatest lessons I have learnt over the past year is how to interact with people. I have made many mistakes in this regard, especially with some newfound friends. However, I am slowly learning from my experiences. Don't allow your experiences to weigh you down. Instead, find the lesson that you need to learn from them. When you learn the lesson, you won't make the same mistake. 

Understand Who You Are

One of the prevailing thoughts in my mind is that I don't fit in with any group of people because of my personality. I accept people fairly easily, but people find it hard to accept me. I am slowly beginning to realise, however, that the main person who needs to accept me is me. When I am able to accept myself then those in my personal circle will be able to accept me.  Having the right circle is important to realising my dreams because I need that support system. 

Understanding who I am also encompasses identifying my passion. Passion is what makes us get up each morning feeling happy to face the day. Passion is what drives us. I am slowly piecing my passion together, but I know that when I get there something magical is going to happen. I felt compelled to express my random thoughts today. Dreams are important. They drive our passion and our passion empowers us to face each day. Don't give up on your dreams. Live, breathe, and see them everyday. 

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Creating Your Own Happiness

lklklk The past few months have been difficult for me. In this small time frame I have felt more like a failure than any other time in my life (and there have been several times in my life when I've felt like a failure). Every aspect of my life has EPIC FAIL written all over it- my lackluster love life, my career, and my spirituality. My friends keep telling me that I'm an over-thinker, I'm not aggressive enough, I'm not observant enough, I need to let loose. You know what, they're right. I am not enough. However, there is one thing that I have come to realize. I am in charge of my own happiness. I can't control my fate or the outcomes of my actions, but I can control my attitude and my happiness.

This morning I came up with four keys to happiness. I want to start using these keys to open doors to a better a more fulfilling life. Maybe this strategy will work, maybe it won't. At least I would know that I've tried.

Key #1: Let Go

In order to move forward you have to let go of the hurt of the past. I know that I will be perpetually unhappy if I keep holding on to bad memories and constant hurt. There comes a time when we all just have to shake the dust off, forgive, forget, and move on. The others who have harmed you have already moved on so what are you really holding on to?

Key #2: Discover Yourself

Because of how I was raised I don't think I had the opportunity to fully discover who I am and what I really want out of life. Granted, I was raised well by my beautiful mother who taught me strong values and principles. However, I think I've gotten to a point in my life where I don't want to feel like I have to be afraid to explore and learn more about me. I have lived under an umbrella of people's expectations. Those expectations are meaningless to me now. Now, I want to come from under the umbrella and feel the beauty of the rain.

Key #3: Realize that No one Else Can Make You Happy But You

If we depend on other people to make us happy then we will continuously be disappointed. People will always disappoint us simply because they are imperfect beings. However, when you know what you enjoy doing then you can just go out and do it. If you enjoy karaoke, why not treat yourself to a karaoke evening? If you enjoy going to the beach, why don't you drive there one evening and enjoy the beautiful sand and surf? When you enjoy your own company and truly understand who you are, you attract and exude happiness.

Key #4: Finding Love Isn't Necessarily the Answer

Some of us accept the notion that finding our soul mates will answer our happiness issues. That's a lie. If you can't be happy on your own, how do you expect someone else to make you happy? Also, as I said in key #3, we can't depend on others to make us happy because we will continuously be disappointed. Love has its limits. There is hardly any human being who would go out of his or her way to keep a perpetually depressed person happy. In all honesty, perpetually depressed people are a pain to be around and hard to commit to. Don't be one of those people.

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My Whirlwind of Emotions

What I say doesn't matter How I feel doesn't count

The sounds of my weeping heart aren't heard

No one understands my whirlwind of emotions.

Who I am isn't understood

I don't fit in, I don't belong

My weaknesses tear me apart

I'm all alone in my whirlwind of emotions.

It's wrong for me to feel

It's wrong for me to desire

It's wrong for me to want to be me

My whirlwind has become a tornado.

The turmoil within my heart

Makes me cry every night

When will I ever be enough?

No one understands my whirlwind of emotions.

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When It All Is Just Too Much

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

Life is a journey that is riddled with several disappointments, failures, good times, and triumphs. However, how we choose to approach life can make or break us. If we view it as a gift we will spend every waking moment making the most of it, but if we view it as a curse then we will spend all of our time focusing on the negatives and depleting our mental energy. Over the past few years, I have viewed life as a curse. What really is my purpose here? What value do I add to this world? Why do I do the things I do? However, this week the pressure became so great that I really felt like giving up.  Financial responsibilities, life choices and the immense stress at work were all becoming too much.  Today, I was reflecting during the ride home from work and I realized that I can change how I approach my life by practicing the following steps.

Just Breathe

When everything seems to be tumbling down around you just close your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it for ten seconds and release it. You would be surprised by how this simple exercise can grant you relief. It helps you to let go of the negative energy that is consuming your thoughts. Personally, it helps me to stop worrying and just let go. The next time when you feel like there are too many things coming at you at once, just breathe, let go of the negative energy, and move on.

Be Realistic

One of the things that affects me greatly is my job and, although I had made the decision to approach what I do with a different attitude for this term, I find it so difficult to enjoy what I do. Nevertheless, the reality is that I have a job and I need the job in order to earn an income. So, the best thing for me to do is suck it up and give it my best shot. I have to make the choice to conquer my reality so that better opportunities can present themselves.

Pray

There is no one who understands your thoughts and heart's desires better than God. He knows when you feel depressed or overwhelmed or pressured. As a result, He is the best person to pour your heart out to. Place all your burdens at His feet and you will be amazed by how well He handles them.

 

These three steps are helping me to come out of this negative space that I have been in and I hope they will also help you. When you become overwhelmed just breathe, accept your reality, and pray. Everything will fall into place eventually.

 

 

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You Are Never Alone

lonely person In this complex and hectic world it is so easy to get lost...so easy to feel like you're alone. Loneliness forces us to enter into the wrong relationships, develop a negative self image, and can lead to depression. So, if we know all of the negative consequences of loneliness, why do we allow our minds to encourage it? Regardless of the reasons we allow loneliness to take over our lives, I believe that the following tips can help all of us to realise that we truly are never alone.

Become Time Efficient

Not everyone in the world can be outgoing and surrounded by a multitude of friends. Some of us are more reclusive and have a harder time creating genuine friendships. This often results in us having many hours and days to ourselves. However, what do we do with that time? Do we over think, worry and allow negative thoughts to flood our brains? Or do we use that time to think of what we can do to bring more joy and happiness into our lives? Use your time alone to develop useful skills, read a good novel, watch a good movie, find some freelance jobs, or plan a vacation with your friends or family. Don't walk around feeling sorry for yourself.

Don't Be Person Dependent

If you are depending on someone to make you happy then you are bound to constantly be disappointed. your friends won't always be available to go out and if you are always asking the same person to go out with you, he or she is bound to get fed up with you at some point. Learn to create your own happiness and to discover your interests.

Spend Time With Your Creator

When I was in my teens I spent alot of time talking to God and reading His word. I think through the changes in my life and my disappointment with the way things have turned out, I have neglected my relationship with God. I am still actively involved in church and I read my Bible but that deep connection with God is not there and I find that I am sadder and more bothered with life. Your spiritual health is important and when your relationship with your Creator is excellent, you will truly know that you are never alone because He is always with you.

Don't let loneliness consume you. Create your own happiness, discover your interests and spend time with you Creator so that you can make the best use of your life.

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