Change, Acceptance And Good Riddance

Change, Acceptance And Good Riddance

The three easy steps to a more fulfilling life experience.
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When you feel a negative way towards a situation, whether it be resentment, jealousy, anger, sadness, or even loneliness, you have three options. In the wise words of Eckhart Tolle, you can either change it, accept it, or get rid of it.

This past week, I have done all three.

There were days I felt so anxious I nearly had full blown panic attacks. I kept trying to convince myself that everything was alright, that I didn't need to be stressed. But, ultimately, I couldn't 'control' my anxiety, which ended up making me feel more anxious in the end.

After a 10+ hour day at the library with no food breaks or interruptions, I finally had this epiphany, and this is how everybody can use it to their own advantage.

The Three Rules of Life

1. Change It

This is the first route you should always take while going about any negative situation.

Sit down with a paper and make a list of at least five realistic ways a situation could be tweaked to benefit yourself. Selfish, I know, but being selfish isn't always a bad thing.

Take an idea or two from your list, and put it into action.

For example, I was anxious about the upcoming article due (the article you are reading right now) and I wondered if I could change the situation in a simple way to benefit myself.

So I went out on a limb and asked for an extension.

And just like that, I had an extra two days to write this, plus room to breathe. Not only did I feel relieved instantly, but because I was able to relax, it gave way to natural inspiration.

(The text you are reading now is entirely attributed to the emotional novel of an iMessage I sent to my mom at midnight on a Tuesday.)

Another situation I found myself in, was that I wasn't giving nearly enough time or attention to my position on a school dance team. I loved it, I just honestly did not have enough time for it.

So I quit.

...Okay, a little dramatic, in reality I just handed my position over to another girl on the team. But now instead of having a job, I can go back to just taking and enjoying dance classes, free of responsibility.

It can be hard to say no sometimes, but it is absolutely necessary.

Now, changing a situation won't always work. You can definitely try to convince your professor to bump your grade up, but some of us know all too well how impossible that can be.

When there is no way to change a situation, the only action you can then take is to change your outlook on it.

And that gives way to the next step in this life-changing process..

2. Accept It

Acceptance can be tough. You have to allow yourself to detach your identification of a person/event with the negative thoughts surrounding it.

A simple way to help this process is to make a list of all the positive ways a situation is benefitting you.

For example, I wrote down the classes I am having the hardest time with. Then, under each class, I wrote as many reasons I could think of as to why it is benefitting me, either now or in the long run.

It gave me a new perspective and it was easy to release some of stress I was feeling, knowing now that getting 100% on every assignment will be trivial at the end of the day.

When you stop resisting something, that something will stop persisting.

That is to say, if all you can think about is the fact that you should not think about something, you are still giving all your power to that unwanted thought.

When you can realize that you are having that thought and accept its place in your mind, you are creating space between you and the negativity surrounding that thought.

This week, I had to accept the fact that my anxiety was normal.

Why?

Because I really do have a busy schedule, and there is no way around that. I finally realized that all I can do from this point forward is to look at my to-do list with excitement, and enjoy the process of completing each task.

Just simply changing my mental position from hatred to acceptance let me breathe easier.

An example for a much more stressful situation:

My car got hit in a parking lot recently and, upon finding it bashed in with no note, I instantly got furious.

But, ultimately, I had to calm myself down and realize that karma would take its course, and that all I could do was file a report and let the police handle it. Instead of putting all the pressure on myself, I surrendered. It made a world of difference.

And here I am now, with a fixed up car, and no money has left my pockets.

3. Leave it

When acceptance is not an option, say maybe you are in an abusive relationship, or you absolutely cannot come to terms with something, get rid of it.

Say goodbye to the toxic person.

Say no to the commitment you made but are dreading.

Delete the emails you still haven't gotten around to looking at.

Stop watching the news.

Get up and walk out of the room.

Like, literally leave.

We don't need more space - space is space, there can't be more or less of it. Space just is, it exists everywhere, naturally. What we do need more of is emptiness. What we need is fewer things taking up space.

Sometimes you just have to be cleared out and reset. Don't dread things, ignore things, avoid things, as this is harmful to your physical, mental and emotional health. Just delete it entirely. Do not let something suck the energy out of you when you have the power to release it.

If you find yourself resenting a situation, picture yourself in a bubble.

Fill this bubble with all people, and events currently going on in your life. Are you feeling claustrophobic? Good.

Now find that situation you dread and erase it. Take a mental pencil eraser to it, blow it away, mentally burn it, imagine it washing away with water - whatever works for you. Do this with your eyes closed.

I guarantee you will instantly feel the relief of empty space, like a literal weight off your shoulders. Now breathe through that empty space, find the next situation that you can't change or no longer accept, and erase that as well.

Now, try to do the same in the physical realm in the best way possible, and know the relief, freedom, and peace that awaits.

I took this to the max and I literally quit my job.

Just the mention of it gave me instant anxiety, and I noticed I was dreading any commitment that came along with it.

To get the full effect of this freedom, I immediately thereafter deleted all emails from said job, as well as the app our co-workers communicated on. What a breath of fresh air. Not only did I get rid of something that drained my energy, I am now free to the possibilities of something better coming along.

Sadly, I have had to apply this rule to people - friends, boys, teachers, acquaintances. I have had to completely sever ties to people in my life recently.

I tried steps one and two, and they just were not working. I could feel these people sucking my happiness. It was tough initially, because I love everyone around me, but now I can feel myself being more open, confident and happy.

It's all about healthy change.

Now that you know these three simple, but life-changing, rules I encourage you to go through this process with everything you face in your daily life.

Never be afraid to ask for more or less, and always do what you feel in your heart.

If anything makes you unhappy just by the thought of it popping up in your head, that is the easiest, most prominent sign of some dysfunction at any level.

You deserve better. You deserve to be happy. And you deserve to be able to free yourself from this negative mental prison you keep yourself locked in.

Peace and blessings, y'all.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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How A Podcast About Murder Helped My Mental Health

And a community that sprang forth became my lifeline.

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Sometimes I wonder what it's like to live without mental illness.

To wake up in the morning and feel secure in your body, your thoughts, your actions, and your relationships.

I don't have that luxury, and neither do 43.8 million Americans in any given year.

So why is it so easy to convince ourselves that we're alone?

I struggled with mental illness before my childhood trauma, which made me an easy target. The effects of my abuse magnified my genetic predisposition to mental health problems. Members from both sides of my family suffer from some type of mental illness. I would never want to offend any relatives of mine, so I won't disclose the number, but let's just say, it's a lot. As for my ancestors, I know a maternal great-grandfather hit my maternal grandfather, and the wife of the aforementioned great-grandfather was an agoraphobic. She mostly only drank tea and ate toast and was rail thin so it's not hard to reach the conclusion that she had an eating disorder.

I am very fortunate in that I grew up in a family who didn't hide from their mental health issues. My mom realized she had anxiety when she was in her very early 20's and was open about it - which for the 1980's was not common. She is the most genuine person I know, and part of that is because she doesn't pretend everything is always perfect.

So, even though my parents were always supportive through my struggles, pushing me to achieve my best while also assuring me that it was okay to take a mental health day from school from time to time, I still felt like I was the only one in the world that felt the way I did.

I won't bore you with the details, but most of my memories from my childhood have to do with anxiety, depression, food, and body issues. I remember telling my parents I had, "that lonely feeling again." Which, was the feeling of my heart in my stomach - the feeling of isolation and sadness and impending doom - something I still deal with today. One of my first words was "safe." I was convinced my parents would die in a car accident. I was five standing in a mirror calling myself fat, I was ten swearing an Oreo would be the last thing I would ever eat, I was eight hoarding food. I was seven, afraid I would crush the horse I was riding because of my weight. I was 12 the first time I made myself throw up.

Anxiety, depression and eating disorders have been woven into the fabric of my being. And working to untangle those threads is a daily struggle.

I'm a firm believer in therapy and medications if that is what's best for your journey. I don't believe in blanket diagnoses, or one size fits all meds. I was hospitalized three times in high school at an inpatient mental health facility, and for me, it didn't help. The final stay, after attempting suicide, journaling was my vehicle out of the darkest place I had been yet.

"I wrote my way out."

When I was 18, I found my way back to God. Recovering memories of being abused is brutal and with my history of mental illness, I don't know what I would have done if I had uncovered the abuse before June 14, 2017. I truly believe that God's timing is always perfect, and I had reached the point in my life where I was ready to receive my truth.

Two months after recovering the memories, I stumbled across a little Podcast called, My Favorite Murder. At that point, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark had been releasing episodes weekly for a little over a year and a half. I was hooked and binged the catalog of episodes.

Not only did it make me realize my love of true crime, but I found an amazing community of some of the most wonderful people I've never met.

What makes Karen and Georgia's Podcast so special isn't the crime. No, it's them. It's their authenticity, their rawness. Their openness about their struggles with addiction, anxiety, depression, body image issues, and their flaws. It's their championing of survivors of abuse and attacks, their support of women, and their dedication to End the Backlog (there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits untested, this organization helps fight that).

Although their opinions sometimes differ from mine, they've created this beautiful space of inclusiveness on the radical notion that as long as you're kind and respectful, you are welcome.

The main Facebook page has hundreds of thousands of followers and pretty early on, people started making spinoff groups, made up of Murderinos (MFM fans) for specific interests. Like apps, there's an MFM spinoff group for anything. From cat lovers to craft enthusiasts to local groups (heyyyy 'Here's the Thing, 518 Everybody') to religious groups (Looking at you 'Thou Shalt Not Murder!'). I joined the latter two groups and loved the little communities.

But then I thought, "Wow, I would really love to join a group for Survivors of abuse." To my surprise, there wasn't one.

I had reached a point in my healing journey that I needed to talk to people who knew what I was going through.

So, I shoved down my negative self-talk that told me no one would want to join a group I made and created a spinoff group.

And Survivorinos was born.

It's been four months since I clicked "create." In that time, we have almost 450 members and this past month I made three strong women moderators to help keep the community running.

For someone who writes a lot and often has (too much) to say, Survivorinos still has me at a loss for words. I started the group because I needed an outlet to vent things that I couldn't say to my friends or family. I needed to share intimate details of my life with people who understood. And what I found was a monumental revelation to me: so many other people needed the same thing.

This community is filled with nothing but love. In a world filled with negativity and fighting, this little corner of the Internet remains focused on helping their fellow man. The stories are heartbreaking, but the comments are uplifting. Love and prayers are sent, advice is given, and memes and animal pictures are abundant.

Now I can't imagine my life without Survivorinos.

Karen and Georgia say all the time how lucky they feel, that their Podcast has turned into this ever-expanding network of humans caring about one another. But it's us, the listeners, who should be thankful. I know I am. Because they took the leap and started this podcast, I found a group of people I didn't even know I needed.

Stay sexy, and keep destigmatizing mental illness and the effects of abuse.

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