Monday, 3 October 2011

Well, of course I'm depressed today. Life sucks!

When we feel there's no purpose in life, we're going to feel demotivated. Why get up in the morning if we have no desire to do so?

The best is to stay at home, watch television and eat junk food all day. Occasionally, when there's really nothing to watch on all thousand five hundred and twenty channels (exaggerated number because when we're this down, everything is hyperbolic), we can always spend some time wallowing in self-pity and denial. Then we visit the bathroom, find something else to eat or drink and flop down in front of the telly again. By bedtime, if we're not dead, at least we'll be feeling grottier than ever before. Going to bed and sleeping off the ill health may help, but should we wake up the next day feeling depressed all over again we need not worry. After all, life sucks! So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with living like this. We don't need to feel motivated and even if we're totally out of control, we can always go onto Facebook or Twitter and tell the world how bad it really is.

Keeping this in mind, we may as well ask: What exactly are we doing here on planet Earth? Why are we alive? What is there to live for? 

There’s really more to life than focusing on ourselves. We spend so much time being self-absorbed, we don’t realize that we're sucking the energy out of our own lives. There's the pun: life sucks. Metaphorically speaking, we're doing the sucking. Life in itself is okay. It's what it has always been. I don't think our forefather pioneers went around saying “Life sucks!” as they beat down bushes and fought wild animals to make a happy trail for their families to follow. Do you really think great-great-grandma, who stood up at two in the morning to build the fires for breakfast and bake bread and rusks, preserve jam and milk a cow before five gave a damn about herself? She did it for the family. She never had time to say “life sucks!” because she was too busy. She was focused. She had a purpose, a goal, and a job. She wasn't busy procrastinating or making excuses for her laziness. And there lies the answer.

We are so self-absorbed, pampering our own needs, feeling sorry for ourselves, and sucking the energy out of our own lackluster lives that we have become lazy and have no desire to do anything else. Yet, we have to because if we want to eat, we have to work. Life forces us to do these things. Even the Bible says if we don’t work, we can’t eat. 
So life punishes us to work and the minute we work, we don’t have enough time to be self-absorbed. It’s a vicious cycle.

We want people to feel sorry for us. We want people to drop everything and run to us and empathize. What a terrible life we're having. Never mind if others are having one too. We're too blind to see that!  After all, what does it matter? We're self-absorbed. We don't have to reach out and touch lives. We don't have to make a difference. It's not like we're being paid to do that, right? 

Well, if life really sucks because we suck, and we want things to change, maybe we should consider the following. Life is not just about ourselves. No man is an island.  We are not the only people that are suffering and feeling like this. There are so many people out there that are feeling depressed. If we can heal ourselves from self-absorption and self-pity, and stop looking for attention or approval, perhaps we can step outside and make a difference in another person's life. 

We really have to reach out and touch a life in order to feel alive. There are five relatively easy steps to making a difference:
  1. Listen. Learn to listen to other people. Here we need to know that when we listen, we're really listening because we're interested in what others are saying about themselves and their lives. We're not listening with the sole purpose of gaining from it. Drop the attitude: “He says ... so what can I say that will make him think I'm …” Remember, it's not always just about us. It's about them too. What are other people saying and how can we make a difference in their lives for them?
  2. Help. Offer to help wherever we can. In doing little things for others, we're focusing our energy on them. We're building relationships. We're learning to care about someone else and not just ourselves.
  3. React positively. We shouldn't wait for compliments or people to say thank you. We should compliment and say thank you. We should learn to praise. If we try to be humble and learn not to be jealous or competitive, we can achieve so much in a single day on a positive level.
  4. Be loyal. When we listen to others, we realize that they have terrible days and bad experiences too. They suffer too. No one has it easy. The purpose of listening, wanting to help, and reacting positively means that we have to remain as loyal as possible. We can't afford to listen to people and help them, only to judge, gossip, or complain about them at a later stage. Making a positive difference means we have to put effort into it. We can't reach out and touch a life and then later poison it.
  5. Involvement. Involve those people in our lives. Invite them to dinner or a sports match over the weekend. Be considerate before we involve them. We can't take a rehabilitated alcoholic to the pub now, can we? Show people that we genuinely care. It shouldn't just be lip service.
Life is what we make of it. It shouldn't make us sweat, but the effort we put into life to make a difference in that horrible job we're doing (just to earn a living) or the relationships we're having with other people, can also make a difference in the way we perceive ourselves and our purpose here on earth. Life is a gift. We should learn to appreciate every minute of it by being focused and being busy.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Using our time

Every day we are physically dying. It's the penalty for sin: death. As we age we move closer to our graves. Yet, old age alone isn't the only reason for death. We wake up every morning and follow our daily routine. We don't know what goes on inside our bodies. When we don't feel well, we react to it. We place our hope in medicine, doctors, rest or prayer. Illness, accident or crime … anything can take life from us.

Every day we are mentally dying. It's the penalty for sin: death. Our thoughts are murderers. We think so much of ourselves and our lives that we forget the people around us. We forget to reach out and touch the hearts of others because we are so concerned about our own needs and desires. We forget that it is in giving and not receiving that we find happiness.

Every day we are spiritually dying. It’s the penalty for sin: death. We are so preoccupied with the world and everything in it that we fail to look out for the spiritual things. We make it a question of choice when and why to attend church services, read the Bible or pray.

Every day we are emotionally dying. It's the penalty for sin: death. We live in unhealthy environments and relationships. We are so obsessed with our own emotions. We don't love other people. We lie to or about them. We criticise or judge them. We gossip about them. We swear at them, and we belittle or hate them. We complain.

We are drained of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional power because we choose to focus on the negative things in life. Living life is a journey of courage. Courage is not about coping with the troubles and the suffering that we experience every day. Courage is about standing up in the face of all the troubles and suffering, putting a smile on our faces and trying to make a positive difference in the world.

Oh, woe to the world. What a place in which to live! Perhaps it isn't the world. Perhaps we should look at all the people.

Oh, woe to the people. What a burden with which to live. Perhaps the people aren't to blame. We should look at ourselves. We should do some introspection.

Life is so short. We really need to live our lives in such a way that when it comes to an end we will not have wasted any time.

When I look at myself ...

  The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that yo...