One of my struggles is keeping a healthy self-image. Having vitiligo makes it easy to believe I am less than I am. Two skin colors is not the norm and this fact at times to my feelings of being non-normal, of being ugly, of being unattractive.
I have learned that through healthy physical habits, I develop healthy mental habits. By learning self-discipline in one area I have developed self-discipline in others.
I have such a fragile mind. I easily react to situations rather than responding with thoughtfulness. It’s difficult for me to keep health habits and keep a healthy state of mind.
A few things that have helped:
I read in stages. Sometimes I dont read a book all the way through for months at a time. Then I get back into a reading mode and I recall how healthy it is for me. It is always interesting to me to see what it is that spurs me into a reading mode. This time it was a recommendation from an acquaintance that I met on a quick vacation. I saw him reading Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith and he said it was a good easy read. I bought it on my Kindle, which is how I read most books now, and read it in two days. Quick read, easy read and fun.
I went on to read Seth Grahame-Smith other’s book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Another quick, easy and fun read. Didn’t see the movie but I want to. Reading these books turned into other books.
I am still reading almost every day. Just finished an excellent book and am reading a few others now.
Mountain biking is what I do to have fun. I highly recommend sweating on a regular basis. Its good for your body and good for your head. It’s a discipline that will have a strong carry over effect. It builds my confidence. Big time.
One of the things I have learned from writing this blog and talking to people here on the site is that writing is good for me.
I am a better version of myself when I write on a regular basis. In fact, I am writing more here because its so helpful.
One of the reasons it helps me is it encourages me to be honest with myself about my feelings and be transparent about those feelings and be positive all at the same time. It helps me with my professional life because writing forces me to practice communicating clearly. I am always trying to get better at communicating in my professional life and my personal life.
Having friends is wonderful and difficult at the same time. In my life, cultivating friendship with new and existing and old friends is critical. This is a practice that I purposefully pursue everyday. I am open to new friends. I am open with current friends and want to keep in touch with old friends.
It’s work. It’s hard work. It’s frustratingly hard work.
And then it’s beautiful. And it’s sustaining. And it’s encouraging to have friends.
My friends are fun and thoughtful and helpful and provocative and can always surprise me.
My family are my friends. And they are my family. Just because they are my family does not mean they are my friends, though this is what I want and what I work towards.
And it is not easy. It’s tougher than friendships sometimes because with family you have higher expectations. You don’t expect your brother or sister or mother or father to let you down.
But they will. Count on it. And you will let them down. Count on that too.
What happens what I hurt my family or they hurt me? I fight for the relationship as best I can. It’s not always fun and it’s almost never easy but it’s always worth it.
My family loves my which each and every day I am grateful for. I am not easy to love. I am as complex as anyone you know.
And my family loves me. That love is truly humbling and enabling. It drives me to want to be better for them and to them.
What are your healthy habits? I am very curious to know. Please let me know in the comments.