Have you ever heard that line that people would spit or mumble under their breath in annoyance... "Common sense is not so common"?
I don't know about you, but I felt like I heard it so many times echoed from everywhere, that I eventually even started saying it myself...and often with the same sarcastic eye-rolling attitude that I'd heard it said with time and time again. Over the years, I eventually said it so many times that I even started to BELIEVE it! Funny how that works isn't it?
...but then my beloved Nelson died suddenly, and as rude of an awakening as it was, that period of time eventually transformed from a challenge into an eye-opening opportunity to re-examine myself, my beliefs and where I was headed. Nothing that had been common seemed common any more.
I hadn't set out to work on myself because I wanted to. It was simply out of necessity. I needed to revisit and investigate some really hard stuff in order for me to find meaning, purpose and a reason to live through the PTSD that literally paralyzed and imprisoned me for almost half a year.
For five and half months, I felt a crushing weight on my chest that kept me from getting out of bed. I didn't dare try to get up. Just existing was exhausting. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating--I was just barely existing. The depression, anxiety and PTSD took turns keeping me down; unable to work, let alone function in a simple conversation or even (no exaggeration) to manage the simple to do list of: get up, brush, shower and eat.
It's not like I had grandiose ideas of what I'd like to have in my life...I literally HAD TO start doing this personal development work to breathe life into what was left of my hopes, dreams and will to live, in order to come back to life.
I lost over 25 lbs. in just the first couple of weeks after Nelson died, and things were devolving fast while I was being physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.
Thankfully I had support. First, it was close friends & family who loved me back to life. Then they eventually urged me to re-enlisted the help of a mental healthcare professional that I'd worked with years before, after a series of other painful life-changing events.
After working together again for a few months, I finally had the stability, the tools and the skills I needed. I simply needed to do the work.
Fast forward through that process (check out our program for the detailed step-by-step techniques)...
Through taking time to observe and contemplate things on my own, I can now say with deep conviction that I believe that common sense actually IS common. It's not for lack of knowing the truth (aka: common sense), but how it's easily forgotten, and even less often put into practice that makes the saying seem accurate.
...I should know--whenever my self-care practices fall by the wayside, typically as a result of mis-prioritizing work, over my self-care and the things that really matter; the stresses rise and things start becoming more challenging or out of control depending on how long I'd let things go unchecked.
What can I say? Probably four "common sense" things:
1) I'm like you, human; 2) Mindfulness helps me see my flawed thinking patterns more easily; 3) I can work on changing my reactions & tendencies; and 4) getting what I want takes effort.
Do you know what the biggest difference is between people who are living fulfilling lives and those who are existing in a space of numbness and half-living?
The biggest difference is that the ones who ARE LIVING fulfilling lives are the ones who build "common sense" AND their own clear personal beliefs into their common PRACTICE (aka: their lifestyle).
They are crystal clear on what they believe and what is important to them.
They also use the right tools for the job--namely the measuring sticks that they use for where they are in their lives, who they are now, and what their aiming to do and become.
They're the ones who measure progress by the kind of effort they're putting into the present to make their hopes and dreams a reality, instead of measuring the energy spent on overthinking and expecting particular outcomes. The ones who spend time & energy where it counts--instead of beating themselves up or running in overthinking--they look for solutions to break out of the negative thinking traps, patterns and cycles.
Living ANY particular lifestyle requires consistent practice of whatever actions support it. Plain & simple.
But, like so many common sense-forgetters when the consistency of my self-care practices' breaks down. It's like I go into this all-or-nothing blackhole thinking pattern! I'm working on it...because I'm a real person. In 2018, I started to really embrace living my Happily EVEN After consistently; but noticed that around special days or big projects my self-care waned, and things fell apart into a cycle of old patterns and suffering. Thankfully, they come back to beauty and flow when I return to regularly loving & respecting myself, and my actual needs.
It's a wonder why I let them slip at all! I imagine self-care practices to be like a kind of "medicine" that keeps me going on the "right track" much like a diabetic with his insulin.
We're all born with the same set of tools (not talents, traits or circumstances), that unlock a plethora of other innate tools.
We're all guilty of using the wrong tool for a job, and it's absolutely NOT because we're dumb; and it's definitely not because we don't have the tools. It's because we either haven't learned where to find them or, we haven't learned how to apply them in our particular situation. We simply haven't had the practice!
It would be completely unreasonable to expect to ourselves to have self-confidence without experimenting and creating data, in a word: practicing.
Self-confidence is actually developed, and therefore is a skill. I don't know about you, but when I learned that confidence was earned and not a trait, talent or circumstance, I breathed a huge sigh of relief!
Are you willing to do the work to live the life you know you deserve? Are you willing to show up to be the person you want to be remembered as? As much as I wish I could say 120%, personal integrity is where it's at. The fact is, at this point, 10% of the time, I'm battling through old patterns & limiting beliefs that still crop up, and the other 90% the time, I'm ready, willing and able to show up all in. What about you?