So The Google informs me that the definition of sanity is “the ability to think and behave in a rational manner, sound mental health. / reasonable and rational behaviour”.
The Google clearly does not have five children, two dogs and a husband to run around and look after. Let’s face it, even on the best of my days, The Google would not deem me sane.
Let’s go with MY definition of sanity: “the ability to tell right from wrong (and behave accordingly)”.
How do we keep sane/become sane in today’s world? There are so many pressures put upon us not just by the outside world, like family, work, animals, government, religion, toxins, rude strangers, angry drivers, the weather, the list goes on.
Then there are also pressures we put on us ourselves, knowingly or not. Certain expectations of the way we should behave, do things, say things, feel things. This may not be something we have consciously chosen but a result of years of conditioning by the society, our parents, our teachers, our peers, the media, everything.
Other people in your life come and go but you will always be stuck with yourself. As such I feel it is important that you like yourself very much. I’m not talking about love here, cause love and like are two different things. For example, you might love a member of your family cause you know, they are family but under no circumstances does that mean that you HAVE to LIKE them.
So how does one like oneself?
Most of us have a very clear picture of the kind of person we would like to be so what it stopping us from becoming that person? Yes, that would be our old adversary Mr Fear. We are afraid that if somehow we act in a way that is not considered “the norm” we would somehow somewhere be disappointing someone.
Wilst I am not suggesting that you go on a rude, intentionally hurtful rampage, I AM suggesting that perhaps we should not worry about “what other people will think” and hurting other people’s “feelings” if all that we are doing is staying true to ourselves. You are not in control of other people’s thoughts and feelings. They are. Do not assume responsibility for them. Worry about yourself. And no, that is not you being selfish. As I always say “the only person who will look after you is you”.
So, don’t feel pressure to say something, buy something, do something that you would really rather not do just for the sake of “not hurting someone’s feelings”. Or because that was how you were “raised”.
Stay true to yourself once you figure out who that is.
So once you declutter the nagging feeling to “always do the right thing”, then you can concentrate on staying that way. Staying sane.
You must like yourself. You must love yourself.
Show yourself how you feel.
Stop whatever you are doing and go, stand there and look at the sunset. Feel a part of this huge event that many never get to see because they are “too busy” and will “get around to it”. Look at the beautiful colours, the magnificence of it all, feel blessed that you are such a part of it. The sun is going to bed, say “good night”.
Try and find where that bird is hiding in the tree, the one you can hear through the kitchen window as you are doing the dishes or something equally mundane. Slowly observe where the sound is coming from. Stand still, be patient. And when you do see it, imagine how happy and free that little fellow must feel because it is satisfied with the most basic things in life and does not crave the approval of others.
Pause and listen to your children laughing. Just listen. It’s like little crystal bells ringing with a throaty chuckle thrown in here and there. Children laugh out of pure joy. When was the last time you have allowed yourself to experience pure joy? When have you just allowed yourself to FEEL the happiness and laugh freely, like a child? Go on, just do it. Giggle, laugh, snort, wee your pants a little bit, it’s okay.
Don’t be afraid to honour yourself with your very own special time. Remember that you need to look after you first before you can look after anyone else. Cause if you don’t you won’t be able to look after anyone else.
Don’t feel guilty because there are so many dishes to wash, floors to clean, toilets with pee all over them to clean, laundry to hang out while it’s still sunny, assignments due, work to be done… They are all expectations others have set. You go ahead and set your very own expectations for yourself.
Leave the dishes, the floors, the toilets etc and do something that makes your heart sing. Play with the puppies, tickle the babies, pash your partner, have a hot shower, make yourself a kick arse cup of coffee and enjoy the taste and the smell of it, go for a walk, go for a drive with the windows down and the music blaring. Just something. That YOU want to do. Just cause.
Keep that sanity in check. Love yourself. Like yourself. There is only one of you. The world is blessed by your presence and would not be the same without you in it.
Be all you want to be. Cause you can.