As I have mentioned in previous posts, I commute via the train to and from work. During my travels, I spend lots of time reading and am especially drawn to self-improvement books. I have just finished the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson and now I am currently reading the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. These are two books that I would highly recommend to everyone for carving a path towards a healthier, peaceful lifestyle. If you enjoy a read that will leave you curious about yourself and others, these two authors are definitely for you! Both of these books have helped me to grow, learn and gain insight on how to view life from a healthier perspective.
In the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson, the author has assisted me in understanding obstacles and problems as a part of life. He claims that when we change our relationship to them, we can see our problems as a source of awakening opportunity, and a learning experience. I realize that life is going to consist of pain and pleasure, success and failure, joy and sorrow, births and deaths — but inner peace is having the strength to accept and understand these inconsistencies of life. When I look back at the experiences in my life thus far, it is easy to see how this concept comes into play. For instance, the times I have felt weak, I gained a greater sense of strength. The times I felt fear, I developed a greater sense of faith. The times that I have felt my heart aching, I learned how to be courageous and deal with discomfort. When I look back on these experiences from this perspective, I realize I was not grateful at the time, but I most definitely am now.
In relation to this concept of being able to view life from all angles, I realize that it is important that we view ourselves from all angles. In the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, she speaks on how we all experience shame and it can have an effect on our lives if we are not aware of it. The author states that “We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us- that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough- and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs. If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected, we have to be vulnerable. In order to be vulnerable, we need to develop resilience to shame.” This statement stood out to me because it is so common to act as if we are not flawed or experience struggle to display an image of perfection. It is easier to show that we are perfect when really perfection is just an illusion. It is extremely common that society only sees what a person wants to be seen.
From these two books, I have come to term with seeing everything as whole- and still being okay with it. The inconsistencies of life, the struggles, the mistakes, or our flaws. Not allowing these moments to define us and being open to these imperfections. Speaking as a perfectionist, I have realized that perfectionism leads to a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle. I am focusing my attention and awareness on importance of blemishes and being okay with these. To me, this is inner peace.
Take a moment to look at your life as a whole- see the light, the dark- see it all and realize that you are still okay.