It is easy to give advice. When it is time to take advice, however, it is difficult to remove yourself from the situation and have a clear view on how to move forward. It is for this reason that psychologists and psychiatrists have their own therapist and doctors do not diagnose themselves, or rather should not. When facing any difficulties, it is helpful to get an outside opinion in order to get perspective and attain clarity.
I recently experienced this myself. I was having an issue with a friend of mine and found myself at a loss in how to approach things. I carefully thought about what I usually advise others but was unsure of how to proceed because I was emotionally invested in the outcome. I had a very hard time separating what I knew to be true with what I wanted. The first thing I did was to call someone I trust, who was not involved. Sometimes you need to enlist several people. If you do not have a good support system, I recommend a therapist, a religious or spiritual guide, a teacher or even a complete stranger who is willing to lend an ear. The important thing to note is that no matter who you speak to, you are the one who will resolve the issue. Even with professional help, be aware that they will not solve your problem for you. They cannot perform miracles. They will not give you a magic potion, pills or even the strength to face or do anything. They will make suggestions, provide you with guidelines and offer support. That is it. What you do with that help is entirely up to you.
Knowledge is an amazing thing. The mind processes any information you read, all the advice you receive, every seminar and sermon you attend. The lessons are heard but not applied to your life unless you choose to include them. Everything gets filtered by your state of mind. That is why you can read the same book after many years and have it affect you in a completely different way. The more experience we have, the more knowledge we retain. As we become more confident in ourselves, we interpret the advice we are given more honestly.
Once you have determined how you want to live, it is essential to develop your own personal mantra. You may have only one mantra or many. I have several that I refer to when I am facing adversity. For example, one is “make the healthy choice.” In my twenties, I struggled with body issues but really wanted to create a healthy lifestyle for myself. This mantra translates easily into many aspects of life. When thinking about dinner or whether or not to stay up late, I will repeat my mantra and make a choice. I don’t always make the healthy choice, but that is why I also have the mantra “Forgive.”
When you incorporate a mantra into your routine, it becomes part of your conscience. When used correctly, it will help keep you on the path you have chosen. Each time you listen to that little voice inside, you will gain strength and courage to be true to yourself. When it came to the problem with my friend, my little voice reminded me of another rule I try to live by, “be honest.” That is one of my most important mantras because it goes hand in hand with who I have become as a person. The only way to live everyday to the fullest and feel good about who you are is to be honest. That is one of hardest things to do in life. Personally, it has ended several friendships but it gave me the confidence to be who I am today. The friends who have stood by me, know what they are getting with my friendship. When I analyzed my dilemma along with the help of a good friend, I realized that I was not actually hurt by my other friend’s actions, but was upset about the circumstances around the situation, over which neither one of us had any control. In the end, what I needed was simply to communicate my feelings to her. A true friend will listen, help you cope and give you the love and support you need.