“Seven cardinal rules of life that I live by”

By Puteri Balkish

Undeniably, regardless of the age, time or dimension you capture yourself in, you will find yourself shoved in a myriad of tests, tribulations, hardship, sadness and despair, at times you least expect. We satiate our thoughts by overthinking about the future and regretting most of our past, and as time leaves us bit by bit, little do we realise that we under-appreciate time at its present.

Being young I suppose, has its share of extremes, it’s either you end up becoming a die hard rebel, who lives like the sands of time do not affect you or you end up being too underexposed, too naïve of your surroundings. Desperate measures are taken to fit the standards of the people around us.

Most of us are in denial of this, but we know deep within, we succumb to the things that give something we call ‘meaning’ in our lives. Whether it’s love, sadness, contentment or anger that we face, do we even look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are actually doing the right things for ourselves? Are we actually living our lives the way we should? Are we actually giving justice to ourselves by filtering our thoughts and emotions?

There are seven cardinal rules of life that I live by, and I feel that every individual should preach and take this into practice.

First things first, make peace with your past so that it doesn’t disturb your present.

There are a number of things we fail to move on from, mistakes that we deeply regret and cannot forgive ourselves for, people we regret meeting, break-ups that left us so broken that no matter how much we tried to glue ourselves back it just does not feel the same anymore.

Broken friendships. Even a death of a loved one, we constantly fail to remove it from our thoughts. Unprecedented moments are inevitable, it seems. Like it or not, the best way to heal, is to deal with it. To accept that things would have stayed if it was meant to stay. So shift. Invest in your future, for you can always have a plan for it, and there is always a big chance of executing it.

Next, what other people think of you is none of your business.

Consuming your thoughts with the words people come out with to bring you down, condemn you, why do you let them feast their hunger and get into you? It is understandable as to why we get ourselves drowned inside this dark abyss. Criticism seems to be a topic highly debated about but yet, many fail to differentiate between advising and condemning. How ironic.

Nonetheless, nothing can be done to shut people up. Learn to switch your mind off. Filter your thoughts. Take only the good and dispose the bad. You owe it to yourself. Do it for the sake of your mental and emotional health.

Thirdly, time heals almost everything, give it time.

As cliché as it sounds, time as we all are aware of, is of the essence. We say this repeatedly but we never ever see through it. We take time as a burden, as a conspiracy built to make us suffer, never the latter. Especially after going through a rough patch, or making a huge mistake, we see the world in shambles and that our future is burnt into ashes. Faith is not an option, let alone having even a speck of hope but give yourself time to sort your feelings and thoughts out. After a while, you will find yourself whole and content again.

Moving on, nothing is in charge of your happiness. Except YOU.

How to be whole and content? The most crucial part of living is making YOURSELF happy. Without dependency on another being, that is. The thing about being in love or in a relationship is that it builds this mentality where you actually live to have another person so-called your soul mate to come by and complete you.

This is by far the most toxic thought a person could have. Who does not want to be loved? We all crave for company, for appreciation, for affection. Do it right. Find things in yourself that you can be completely delighted with. Having a cup of coffee on your own is nothing negative. Make yourself whole enough to be able to light a whole city. Do not let anyone fill in the empty parts but you. But find someone that when together, you are both like a supernova.

Furthermore, don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

We claim to be the most understanding of beings. Truth is, we do not understand enough unless we were in their shoes. Try to be compassionate and empathetic. Although the world does not cater to all of our needs, the least we could do is be kind to ourselves, and also to others.

If it’s world peace you are seeking for, you have already initiated a step. You do yours, but be wary of sharing your experiences as it may harm you more than benefit you. Hardship is abstract, so spare yourself from the mental torture of wondering why it varies from person to person. Focus on your struggle and make sure that it is worth it.

Also, stop thinking too much. It’s alright to not know the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.

Overthinking is more of a routine than a disease that consumes our minds. We crave to satiate our undying thirst for solutions, to feed our curiosity and our minds persistently wander in numerous directions in a rush to grasp the resolution. Drowning ourselves in our never-ending train of thoughts becomes a norm even when it’s hazardous. Change the way you think. Think only of the things that serve you for the better. Happy thoughts make happy people.

Lastly, smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world.

Apparently, we are all on the same boat, just on different corners and getting hit dissimilarly with the waves. Some may have it harder, some may have it easier. Struggles are still struggles no matter how it appears to be. Be merry and remind yourself that you are not alone.

Make mistakes, be reckless, cry your lungs out and laugh till your stomach hurts. These moments serve a purpose.

To let us feel.
To let us think.
Have no regrets.

Live. ***

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