Sometimes our bodies can betray us. Something goes wrong and healthy cells are replaced with broken cells: Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, etc. Mental health can become diseased too: Depression, anxiety, compulsive behavior, suicidal thoughts. The very good news is that good medical care is available for all of these things. That, along with the love and support of family and friends helps our bodies to heal. Physical illness is obvious. Sometimes people keep their mental pain a secret. Please promise me you’ll never keep any pain you’re going through a secret.
My dad was a Marine. He enlisted at 18 with his buddies during he Korean War. He was never a "typical" Marine, always a gentle spirit and rarely spoke about his days in Korea.
One carry-over was kind of a little inside joke he had with his buddies in the war: They used the expression "Semper Fi" sarcastically, in the opposite way it's meant. When they said it to each other it meant "I got mine, you're on your own. Fend for yourself." We always used to joke about it too when little things happened like there was no more milk for the cereal, "Semper Fi." Of course the irony is that my dad and his Marine buddies were the very definition of faithful when it came to the big stuff. They just liked to joke about the little stuff.
Still use it jokingly that way to this day.
"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." - Ben Franklin
This works with money and with other areas: Be faithful in the little things and the bigger things will take care of themselves. For example, if you don't get comfortable with telling little lies then you'll never tell big lies.
Stuff will happen and you’ll think “I can’t get through this. I can’t go on.” In the moment it really feels that way. But ...You will survive. You’ll find a way. Never give up on yourself. I never will.
The Golden Rule is wrong.
At least when it comes to relationships and especially when it comes to parenting.
Instead of treating someone how you’d want to be treated, treat them how THEY’D want to be treated.__
Learn what THEY need to feel safe and loved, how THEY express big feelings like fear, anxiety, anger and frustration.___
Instead of assuming the friend/partner/child /coworker wants to be treated how you’d want to be, take the time to learn about them. Then when someone you love is in distress you can respond to them in the way they need.
___(Lesson learned from reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Great book. A little preachy but push past that. )
Take the family on periodic “spending fasts.”
As an exercise, go a day, a weekend or a week without spending any money. Make due with what you have.
Encourage participation. Tie in spending fasts with holidays, lent or in support of a cause.
You don’t have to like everyone you go to school with, or work with. You don’t even have to like your family!
BUT, you have to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
They are worthy of that no matter what your opinion of them may be.
So what you can. If you’re overwhelmed or depressed, and I can’t get it together to brush your teeth, rinse with water. Tomorrow, rinse with mouthwash. In a few days, brush without bothering to put toothpaste on the brush. This is a pretty extreme example but u get the picture. If you can’t do a load of laundry, just pick up the clothes into a pile. Tomorrow separate the pile. If you can’t face doing a full leg day at the gym, do one rep. Just do what you can, and eventually you will get up to speed. Give yourself grace, my love.
Like me, you turn to food for comfort. That’s okay to a point, but it won’t help. That hole you’re trying to fill will just get deeper. So if you can’t or won’t stop eating for comfort please consider this suggestion: Do something creative first. Sing, write, paint, run, lift, act, improv, whatever. The hole will be so much more shallow when you go to try and fill it with food. Hopefully, eventually you’ll get to the point of staying in “creative mode” to feel better.
If you’re having trouble finding your passion, read biographies and memoirs of people from all walks of life.
There are so many worlds out there! You’ll find one that excites you, where your unique talents and skill set can shine.