Sanity and Self-control

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Everybody has expectations and desires. Sometimes, when these expectations go unmet, we feel really bad. We want to be respected, valued, understood, and tolerated. We also want to experience the wonderful things of life. We wish life were a bed of roses; we wish we’d never have to struggle to have a secure and comfortable life. However, sometimes, our desires are not fulfilled, and our needs are not met. We come to realize that life is not as perfect as we deem, and that ceaseless bliss is only a fantasy. The reality of life is that it is a mixture of the pleasant and the unpleasant. 

Life teaches us a lot as we grow older. And one vital lesson we may learn is that nothing is ever so certain. The beautiful thing you have today may be lost tomorrow. The respect you enjoy today may not be there tomorrow. Times may be easy now, but hard times may come tomorrow. Therefore, what matters is what we do with the ‘now’. You may never see your best friend again. You may have to deal with an adversity you were not prepared for. Your romantic relationship may come crashing before the next year. The wonderful moment you may be enjoying now may not last for long. However, that doesn’t mean you should worry yourself sick. This simply means that you should always make the most of ‘now’, because ‘now’ is all you’ve got. And when hard times come, embrace such experiences as part of life. 

Once we learn that life isn’t perfect, and shit happens, we will be better equipped to deal with the vacillating realities of life. By having a good grip on ourselves when life pushes us to the extreme, we show quality self-control. Sometimes, our self-centred nature dominates our lives, and we find that we are less cognizant of the selfish and harmful effect of our actions on the lives of others (and on our lives). And then we wonder why we are not getting what we want. Sometimes, we make excellent plans, but unexpected events ruin these plans. Frustration, bitterness, anger, and hatred may be felt. However, these bad circumstances, along with the good circumstances, are indeed the contingencies of life. 

Therefore, stated below are some actions we take which are somewhat insane, and which we should strive to correct, even when times are hard. 

Becoming too controlling in relationships

A relationship that disregards the freedom and happiness of another is toxic. Although, you may care so much about another person, and be able to see all the stupid decisions they are making, depriving this person of the privilege to exercise their free will is toxic because it is both choking and belittling. Sometimes, we care genuinely, but fail to realize how our care for another violate certain boundaries. Giving others the freedom to make their choices, and having the courage to hold ourselves, although we don’t like what we see, shows respect for other people’s boundaries. 

It may therefore be said that a genuine desire to guide (and save) another, and the need to respect other people’s boundaries sometimes conflict with one another. It is, however, vital that we learn to respect other people’s boundaries (as it’s their fundamental human right), even if it is difficult to see them make some terrible choices. 

Getting angry over petty slights because of your ego

Many of us get angry or show resentment because we’ve been diminished, ignored, or offended by another person. This anger is usually an indication of the emotional pain we experience due to the unloving actions of other people towards us. Still, the sane (albeit difficult) thing to do would be to disregard how we have been treated (as if the violation or belittlement never happed), and then focus on our life goals. While it may not be easy to do at first (especially if one has anger issues), one may put it to practice. 

More so, the belief that you are entitled to being respected and valued by others should be changed. Such mentality is wrong and egoistic. While we truly deserve to be respected, we do not always get what we deserve. Not everyone will respect you, and those who respect you today may disrespect you tomorrow; that’s life. So, get on with life, even when you do not get what you desire, simply because the pain you feel is part of life. 

Not embracing guilt, regrets, and loss

Many people will tell you that being happy (and blissful) is what life is about. Yet, what so many people do not realize is that downtimes (or moments of sadness) are not diseases or problems in our lives, but rather, are a significant and essential part of our lives. The distress you experience is what makes life what it is. It is supposed to be embraced and borne, not despised and downgraded. You will not always have wonderful times, and that is just the reality of life. 

Furthermore, it would be much easier for you to cope in life if you accept that unhappy times are perfectly normal, and are just as significant to life as happy times. Acceptance and embracing some harsh realities of life are keys to living a less disappointing and more rewarding life. 

Worrying over what other people think about you

Virtually every person (except perhaps psychopaths) have the tendency to worry about what other people think about them. We all want to be respected and valued, not vilified and despised. And it can be quite difficult to dispel this worrisome feeling we tend to experience when other people find us repulsive. Perhaps, we don’t think we dressed right, we asked the wrong question, we didn’t behave appropriately, we came off as being cowardly, said something stupid, etc. Whatever the reason may be, we should bear in mind that a sincere and elaborate apology should always suffice for wronging others, but we have no need or reason to apologize to others for despising us based on other reasons. We should therefore never have to worry about what they think about us. These people will someday become a past chapter, and by the next ten years, they would have become forgotten history. So, if other people treat you like shit or find you repulsive, endure and focus on your goals instead. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it’s the best alternative there is.