Oct. 9, 2012 — If people took care of their insides as much as their outsides, the world would be a much better place. In other words, people spend a lot of time perfecting their appearance, but little time looking within and working on personal issues. And, well, it shows.
My favorite aunt shared that view with me many years ago and I’ve never forgotten. She always said she thought everyone could use a therapist or counselor. I agree because it certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone to have a neutral party to help unload the heavy baggage that inevitably comes with living life. And, yes, everyone has baggage.
Everyone in Susanville, everyone in the entire country, everyone in the world has baggage. If you’re human, you have baggage. Be it personal issues, suppressed hurts, insecurities, and/or whatever you’ve endured while habituating this earth with other human beings.
Some of us carry our baggage around like a trophy and boast about ill-fated experiences and wrongdoings. Others hide their baggage, denying any weakness, and attempt to present a flawless front.
Whether your facade is a brick wall or a wallowing victim, you have the ability to make things better. It really is possible to improve upon what’s inside of you, just as it is feasible to change your outward appearance with food, exercise, clothes and haircuts.
We work on fixing our hair, washing our clothes and cleaning our body because that is what people see. We have magazines and commercials to tell us how to look, so it’s a no-brainer. However, thinking about your personal problems is work, a lot of work. And, most of us don’t know where to start. It’s way easier to hide or deny what’s inside. No one has to know, right? Wrong.
You can suppress your anger, hurt and bitterness all you want but it will come out one way or another. Your anger may cause you to overreact to small things and blame others. Your hurt may show up as insecurity or mask itself as anger. Bitterness can result in negativity and aggressiveness.
The point is, whatever you are trying to deny and cover up will rear its ugly head and interfere with your life to no end until it is dealt with firmly and effectively. Maybe you don’t even know you’re ignoring gnawing feelings. You might think your stomach hurts because you ate something bad, but in actuality, your stomach hurts because you lied to a friend yesterday.
One of my other favorite pieces of advice is that if you do not want to tell someone something, you probably should. Suck it up and do the right thing. Take responsibility for your thoughts and your actions. Be honest, even if it hurts. And, then, be nice to yourself. You’re human. You make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up. Identify the issue, learn from the experience and move on.
There is a reason the self-help section of most bookstores takes up vast space — we know we have issues! We may not want to talk about them, but they’re there. You’re not the only one either. We all have issues. Own it. Spend some time working on yourself and maybe you’ll feel as good on the inside as you look on the outside.
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