One of the hard and challenging things that I find during my low points is to find the beauty in life during sad and difficult times. Losing a best friend, a lover, a relative, whether it be through death or simply the severing of a connection is hard, if not downright devastating. Rebuilding relationships after that can feel like an uphill climb and in addition people who struggle with depression or bipolar may have the added struggle of spiraling lows.
Not everyone has a strong support system filled with compassionate and understanding people, and there’s something to be said about those of us who did have a support system but find themselves left with increasingly dwindling support systems as time has gone on.
I find in my journey that every person I have managed to gain in my life with my particular set of struggles and unique ways of being is precious to me. So the loss of a person for whatever reason can shake my entire world. Especially when in some of the cases my crime has been, ‘you loved her too much and dived too deep’. Today’s post is inspired by such a challenge. The challenge of being in a moment when after all has been said and done, when you’ve reflected beyond the point of reflection, counted your losses and looked back at what you’ve gained. That moment when you’ve accounted for all the broken pieces of your heart and are left just sitting with what’s left and find yourself depleted.
Today I sat down. I meditated on Love. Acceptance. Quietness. And Beauty. I decided this post was long overdue.
The Challenge: 1,000 Beautiful Things
It’s a daily challenge, particularly when you live with mental illness and a small support system. But one that needs to be done.
I am constantly on a daily basis looking for a reason to want to live, looking for the beauty in life during sad times. But how do you do that when you are in the middle of the wreckage? Imagine this, you’re standing in the ashes of a disaster. Everything around you is dead, but in the sky you see a bird fly past. As you walk on you see a single green plant sprouting. You begin to make it a game, how many beautiful things can you find?
It’s hard isn’t it, especially in the beginning “to see the glass as full and not half empty, the good and bad in everyone” as Annie Lennox says in her song 1,000 beautiful things. But sometimes when every tear has been shed, you reach this point where your heart is just ready to let in some beauty.
So I’ve been compiled a list of some things that can help ease the pain, to recenter back in a place of quiet love, and to see the beauty during sad times when it’s feeling hard to see:
- Meditate on Loving Kindness (Metta)
- Listen to F*ck That: An Honest Meditation (video)
- Deliberately meditate, reflect, and/or write about quietness. love. beauty. and acceptance. (youtube search these topics or google search to read or hear people talk about these same topics if it helps)
- Take a shower and enjoy the warmth on your back
- Cry and be fully with your tears
- Make yourself a good hearty meal and focus only on it and eating it.
- Watch a Video of people who want to make you smile! (And keep watching until you find something that gets you to crack a smile), in essence surround yourself with happy people who want to make others happy. (Ellen (especially her dancing and scaring people) and French and Saunders are two of my favourites)
- Watch an entire TV Series online (see: television really does make you less lonely)
- Listen to It Gets Better (Link)
- Sift through Upworthy articles
- If you have a dog or a child or someone in your life, and can tolerate hugs, give them one.
- Watch and listen to people laughing
- Do a Laughing Meditation (Laughing with Ellen, Laughing with monks)
- Sit quietly and don’t react
- Make looking for the beauty in life a game
- Keep a list of all the beautiful things you manage to find
- Take something that seems sad and give it a positive twist or story, a happy door it opened, something good that came from it. (Everything has two sides, flip around the sad side and look at it from the positive side, what it taught you about you, what you learned, what doors it opened, what it led to, and more )
- Find something even if it’s just one thing to be grateful for each day
- Be thankful for a celebrity or comedian or other figure who makes you smile when you’re down
- Take it easy on yourself/be gentle with yourself
- Do something kind for someone or Do something that makes them smile.
- Do something nice for you.
- Watch Kid’s Videos on youtube
- Regress: Let yourself be a little kid again
- Read the stories of successful people who started out rough, but had hope that it’d get better and it did (imagine if Oprah, Michael Jordan, Ellen and more gave up hope when things were looking grim!)
- Remember tomorrow’s a new day
- Remember: You are Loved
- And though we haven’t met, I do Love you too.
- And last but not least, if you’re feeling down and you need a listening ear and someone who believes in your worth, send a message. I haven’t met you yet, but you’re lovable, you’re worthy, and it will get better.
Get Lost listening to people who see beauty:
- Think about the Real you (Alan Watts, Video)
- Watch your life in 4 minutes (Thejourneyofpurpose)
- Ask yourself, What if God Got Bored (Video)
- Listen to Alan Watts On Being Alive (Video)
- To be continued.
Those are just a few things I do to help me find the beauty in things. Last but not least, I’ve just come to accept that in my life there will be a lot of low points sometimes that last what feels like forever and a day, and sometimes we just don’t have the energy. I’ve gotten to that point; I still get to that point. Approaching myself with gentleness and love, and letting myself cry it out has been great.
Some books and articles for Recommendation:
- How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me, by Susan Rose Blauner
- Suicide Read This First
- To be continued.