For so long, we have worked against ourselves, subconsciously seeking to sabotage the progress we’ve managed to attain in our personal sphere. We don’t have to understand every corner of it or analyze it completely, but it helps to simply know that life is better when treat ourselves better and those we love better. We must learn to pride ourselves in taking good care of ourselves and family instead of priding ourselves in our ambitions or status. If we are wondering why we are so unhappy all the time and forever frustrated (or just plain hollow and unfulfilled inside), it might have something to do with the way we are not fully working for ourselves and with the tide of betterment. Here’s a quick checklist (not to make it all about externals but just to provide a fast way to assess the situation):
Do we control our appetite (not by starving ourselves but by nourishing our bodies on a predictable and reasonable time schedule), or does our appetite control us?
Do we control our emotions (not by holding them in but by feeling-then-releasing them in constructive ways), or do our emotions control us?
Do we regularly give our body the opportunity to become stronger through physical activity?
Do we make time to give our minds the opportunity to grow through reading, writing, and thinking?
Do we regularly connect with our God and seek to grow spiritually?
Do we daily show and speak affection to all the members of our family?
Do we start fresh each day with others and ourselves (and start fresh each moment as we need to)?
Do we take responsibility for our mistakes and make amends as we are able?
Do we aim for excellence in all things while also resting when we are tired?
Do we start and end each day with love in our heart and a desire to see good propagated in our homes and communities?
Let us remember that it’s not always a solid yes or no to the above questions. We are working on a continuum, always seeking to make progress (as opposed to trying to achieve perfection, which is impossible because it is an illusion in terms of the limitations of our humanity).
The point is to keep trying and to keep working towards the next step, the next level in our development so that our time on this earth is not wasted but invested.