“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
– Chinese Proverb
This year, one of my friends decided to celebrate her birthday by having a toiletry drive for the homeless. She reached out to her friends and family for donations and we were able to create 100 care packages to hand out to homeless people in our city. We created indoor and outdoor care packages that included hats, gloves, underwear, granola bars, trail mix, tissues, shampoo, soap, deodorant, bandages, heating pads, and much more.
After we created all the care packages, we decided to head to the beach for a bonfire. The weather was perfect and it was a very calm, beautiful night. One of the girls wanted to try a guided meditation and so, we sat in the sand and closed our eyes. When you focus the mind, you start to notice things that get lost in the noise of your thoughts. I could suddenly hear the gentle ripples of the water and the cackling of the fire.
Before we put out the flames, my friend asked us all to hold a handful of sand and reflect on our lives. She told us the sand represented all the negativity in our lives, the people who have hurt us, and any bad experiences we may have had. She said not to limit ourselves by other people’s opinions or actions and that we should love ourselves. She wanted us to throw that handful of sand into the flames and let go of all the negative people and experiences that have been weighing us down. Even though it was a symbolic gesture, it felt as if some of the negativity I’ve been holding onto had escaped me.
Getting together with friends to do something good for others, to me, is the perfect way to spend a Friday night. It was a good reminder that there are a lot of people who are less fortunate than myself and that I should be grateful for all that I have. All of the things I worry about seem trivial when I think about these people who don’t know if they’ll have a meal to eat or a place to sleep at night.
When I think about these people, who have very little in their lives, I wonder how much mental strength they must have to keep on going. I can’t possibly imagine what it must be like to have no place to call home. Then, I think to myself, just how powerful the mind must really be and how weak mine
I’ve come a long way these last two months.
I have my moments where I do start to spiral into negative thoughts but they are becoming less frequent and less intense. When I think about my first post about hitting rock bottom, I realize just how destructive thoughts can be. When I wrote that post, I was consumed by hurtful and negative thoughts, the pain was intolerable. I was entangled in a vicious web of what ifs and what could have beens and had placed so much value on one person’s opinions about me.
With everyday that passes, I am becoming more mindful and self-aware. I realize just how much even the tiniest shift in my thinking can impact my life. There are still some things I need to work through and questions I need to ask myself but rock bottom is starting to look a lot different to me now. I can even see a glimpse of the sun peaking through the cracks of where I am now.