The ILNA Team
How Do Some People Live So Easily?
Opinion piece submitted by Mohammad Alnatour
I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me. The world can feel like it’s standing still outside while a storm rages in my head. I can see the parts of my life that I might not necessarily have been satisfied with, which are now catching up to me. I look around and wonder, how do people live so easily?
'Easily?' maybe, but not quite.
I am certain that everyone is dealing with something of their own. I often wonder though, how do some people hide pain better than others? Do they know it's there? Or is that pain simply recognises pain? even if the body hosting it has become blind to it.
Anxiety is no stranger to most - even if some don’t admit it. It’s not difficult to spot worry in someones eyes. It varies from one person to another. Extreme levels of anxiety; however, can feel somewhat crippling - both mentally and physically.
I have personally endured so much in my life, those closest to me know that well. Throughout my 25 of living, I have managed to understand my mind and the aftermath of my experiences both, psychologically and spiritually. Coming from the Middle East, where spirituality is most commonly identified as religion, it has always been an integral part of my existence. Hence, it did not take much for me to resonate with bodies of work such as The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle that teaches the value of being present in the current moment, Esther Hicks, an inspirational speaker that teaches and presents tools of manifestation, and the teachings of The Holistic Psychologist by Dr. Nicole LePera whose work has become somewhat of a social media phenomenon. What these 3 examples of bodies of work have in common is a mutual theme; the solution is never outside, it is always inside.
In other words, their teachings explain that there will never be anyone or anything that can appear in our lives to fix our problems. No one will ever appear bringing the peace of mind we so desperately crave. It will always be up to us, as individuals, to find our inner power. I can see how some people might read this and be in complete disbelief, particularly in the notion that people have the ability to heal themselves. Many of us (if not most) have completely made an identity out of our pain, making it, at times, impossible to believe that we can live without it.
At the end of the day, I am still human, with feelings - valid feelings. It does not surprise me that even though I try to fill my mind with knowledge and lessons of wellness & mindfulness, my anxiety has the sharp ability to play tricks on me, and at times, get the best of me. I know I am not the only person who feels this way, in fact I believe that we are going through a collective burnout - both mentally and physically. This may be as a result of the pandemic, a rattled political global climate, and/or because of the social injustices we are witnessing daily.
It seems that this burnout has manifested itself into a wave of anger and frustration. We have witnessed protests around the world and a knife-sharp increase in hate crimes. These issues did not come out of nowhere. Just as I am struggling with facing many things that I have long attempted to escape or ignore, the world seems to be going through the same exact thing. The problems and injustices we have long attempted to escape from can now no longer be ignored.
It is time for action, on a collective and personal level. Just as many have tried to teach us through the years, whether through books or through story-telling, the answer is truly within us. It is when we decide that it is time for change that we will be able to witness that change. Start gradually, I have. I've seen the smallest of steps alter my mood, such as re-decorating my flat. The power of fengshui is real.
My anxiety has been acting up as of late. I was overwhelmed by fear and worry over a loved one's health. I felt crippled, helpless. My mind was always imagining the worst. The "What If's?" drove me mad. Then came the good news. I was able to feel some peace of mind. My anxiety was overcome with an overwhelming sensation of gratitude and relief. This is a cycle. I now know it. It's a pattern, which I am now able to pick up. Some days are bad, and that's okay. Some days are great. It is appreciating the highs and lows of life and finding ways in which you are able to navigate through them. That's the beauty of the unpredictable world we live in. Change is constant. Why not make peace with it or better yet, become the change?
They say gratefulness is the root of happiness, a saying that I have long resonated with and attempted to live by, and now feels very real. This is where I will be starting on my journey of change, towards a reality that I am completely at peace with. As I wonder how some people live so easily, maybe the essential simple answer is to.... just try?