Everything has its nuances, and in this aspect the nuances are big.
First of all, we should be clear on the fact that it’s not a good idea to settle for less than we deserve. Sometimes, convincing ourselves that “the minimum is enough” can strand us within barren gardens. Some people tell themselves that the earth is good and fertile, and that sooner or later seeds will sprout and spectacular flowers will bloom.
However, oftentimes our lives transform into a waiting room for our dreams, ones which never arrive. For goals that are never accomplished, flowers which never bloom. Settling for a little bit doesn’t mean living from crumbs, and happiness will never mean
“convincing ourselves that nothing is truly that important”. In fact, it’s completely the opposite: we should be quite clear on what IS important.
We invite you to
reflect upon this.
Meanings and purposes in life
Mental health professionals often complain about the current models that are oriented towards treating depression, because they don’t always have the expected results. Programs fail and, oftentimes, the approach that mixes pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy offers an improvement which in many cases is simply temporary.
Doctor Eric Maisel, psychotherapist and author of a long
list of books about depression and emotions, talks about the need to reformulate some aspects. Many psychiatrists nowadays still focus almost exclusively on analyzing the symptomatology of the patient. They don’t invest time or resources into finding the true root of the problem.
A lot of antidepressants are prescribed, like band-aids meant to heal the sorrows of life. You need something more, more approaches and less labels where everyone can be treated equally.
According to Maisel, what we suffer from the most nowadays is a profound and devastating existential anguish. We have forgotten our purposes in life, to the point of not giving due value to our emotions, thoughts or decisions. Our everyday life is now covered by a blanket of fog and mist, where nothing has any authentic meaning.
We could say, without fear of being mistaken, that
we have become accustomed to living with much less than we deserve. Because it’s not about being happy with less, it’s about knowing what our priorities are. What are our vital purposes, our values. Only then may we learn to tune into that inner music. Without any background noise, without artifices. A little, if it’s good, will weigh less
Let’s imagine for a second a person that’s trying to cross a river with a backpack on his back. The sun is very hot that day, inclement, at times even blinding. He’s not very sure where he wants to go, but simply intuits that he must cross that river. E ven though, the backpack he’s carrying is way too heavy. It barely allows him to move forward. He must do something.
Our protagonist is forced to stop and
make a decision. He takes off his backpack and opens it: in it there are stones, many stones. Some are bigger than others, and others are very small. The biggest ones are the most beautiful and spectacular. They represent his values, needs, virtues, the things he loves and which identify him.
The small ones refer to external needs. The worries that others place upon him, criticism, falsehoods, obligations to meet, satisfying others, the need to be how others want him to be. He must make a decisive decision. Our protagonist does: he decides to take out of his backpack all of those little, bothersome stones.
A much lighter journey…
When he does, as he is getting rid of them one by one, he realizes something wonderful. There were thousands of them, and
they tripled the weight of the bigger stones, his favorites. When he is finished and puts the backpack back on, he is surprised by how light it feels. When he starts walking again, the path seems a lot clearer. He feels strong, brave and with the strength to cross that river.
The stones that he carries on his back are still small in number, but big in size. But, their beauty is such that they do nothing more than inspire him every day, with their shapes and sparkle. Little by little, and thanks to their marvelous influx, he remembers his path and his destination. And he won’t hesitate to comply.
Let us also start to do the same.
Let’s get rid of some excess weight and simply keep the little bit which is meaningful and enriching to us.