The Power of Quicksand

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost all control of my life. Negative thoughts leech off my brain, as the sand swallows me. Who am I? Where am I going? Do my friends like me? Will I be alone? Coping with the stresses of life is hard. There’s this endless cycle of thoughts and feelings surrounding my head. My insecurities come pouring out all at once. The more insecurities that arise, the deeper I sink into the sand. How do I break free from all this?

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In life, there aren’t many things you can control. Life occurs and you have to cope with everything it puts on your shoulders.

Living in the Now

It’s obviously easier said than done, but don’t worry about ‘the future.’ I have trouble with ‘the future.’ I think ‘the future’ is something that doesn’t quite exist. You deal with everything you have to deal with now and eventually you reach the future? But, by the time you’ve reached the future, you are in the now.

“The future is composed of nows” – Emily Dickinson

The future never comes. The present is now, that I’m sure of. I’m speaking too existentially. This all doesn’t make sense. I cannot wrap my head around it. Am I stupid?

Great. Another stress on my plate.

I’ve found that an effective method to overcome all these pressures, is to live in the now. Deal with your thoughts, feelings, and actions in this present moment. Thinking about the future leads to a vexatious brain and body.

Write a ‘Be Grateful List’ Everyday

Write down a list of everything you are lucky to have. When things seem the bleakest, writing what you are grateful for puts everything into perspective. Do this on the days that you feel distraught.

Try to come up with different positive influences in your life. Write down at least ten. Make your brain really sweat to be grateful.

You will come up with things you’ve taken for granted. Simple things are often taken for granted.

Maintaining Control

I went through a terrible breakup when I was sixteen. It left me essentially alone. I had nothing left. Having raging hormones, I had no sense of life or happiness.

I had no friends, I had no girlfriend, I was overweight, and I was incredibly unhappy.

I had to get out of this emotional rut.

At that time I was never keen on reading, but I forced myself to read. Eventually, learning became a way to help me control my thoughts. I could control what I wanted to read and treasured the ability to accept or reject authors’ thoughts.

I started to get an idea of the man I wanted to be. I started to make goals for myself. New goals just came natural to me during this phase.

This worked well. Soon, I forgot about all the previous anguish and started improving myself. Eventually, everything worked itself out. When you communicate intrinsic happiness to the world, the universe opens up.

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have control: now” – Denis Waitley

Fast forward to September 2013 and going through my first “mid-mid-life crisis” (Patent-Pending). Once again, I found myself unhappy. I lost sight of my goals. I was lost and mildly depressed with my sedentary behaviors. I wanted to leave everything behind, explore Europe (like in those teen movies). Leaving seemed right, but I was chin-deep in the quicksand.

But, leaving everything wouldn’t solve my problems. I would just have a whole new set of problems. Where would I go? How would I live? I’ve learned; when your life is spiraling, problems just follow you where you go.

I fell back to my previous plan. I decided to improve myself, in all areas, even further. I researched body image and fashion.

Dressing well opened up a new world for me. Controlling the way people see me gave me a sense of empowerment. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was getting genuine compliments.

I feel like dressing well fed my intrinsic happiness monster inside my body. People recognized that I felt good about myself and the universe just opened its arms. I feel at ease now albeit temporarily.

Sometimes you lose control and that’s okay. Use it as a way to progress. Use the quicksand as an excuse to improve yourself. Perhaps another mid-life crisis is on the horizon.

This time, I welcome it with open arms, as a chance to improve.

Quicksand