Peace of Mind

Ever since I was little, I’ve been a positive person. As I grew up, I became capable of some degree of higher thought. Subsequently, I became aware of my opposite ability to critique and criticize myself.

Time went on…

As time went on, I criticized more than I complimented myself and deemed myself unable to fulfill any child-like perfectionist dreams I had at the time.

I spent much time in elementary and junior high school hating the way I looked. And in high school, I lamented my weaknesses and squandered my strengths.

I had yet to realize that no one is perfect and that I had no obligation to be. The only obligation I had was to be the best person I could be.

That entailed an honest account of my normal, human limits as well as my unique strengths.

I now realize that this kind of self-criticism is exactly the thing that squelches creativity, productivity, and peace of mind.

It brought me to engage in never ending negative messaging -bringing me down a rabbit-hole of anger and sadness- whose effects are hard to undo.

Comparing myself to others and insisting I become or aspire to be someone I’m not is what caused me to lose a sense of self, create a non-existent and self-imposed family tension, and miss out on opportunities and contentment with just being me.

Picture of two flowers with the focus on the rotten one. Captured by the author, Eliana Sidlow

An Ultimate Life Change and Peace of Mind

An ultimate life change- that required much work- brought me to reassess and override my executive function. Instead of just giving myself criticism, I’d give myself productive criticism.

I also limited unnecessary censure and began to give myself encouraging messages now devoid of comparisons.

I embarked on a journey to live up to self-set-standards (some within and others beyond grasp) without overthinking what others would think or say and without trying to make impossible goals for myself.

As time passed, I found life to be much more fun and enjoyable and found my relationships with others and with myself that much more real and satisfying.

It took my parents too many attempts until I realized the inherent abilities I had. They opened the door, but I was the one who kept slamming it on myself.

I had to walk through, and when I did I realized that the way I live my life is not a passive reality, but an active decision.

“Let the wounds of your past heal.

No longer allow your weaknesses to make you kneel.

Let you not your own potential steal.

May you let yourself lose your recidivism.

And allow yourself to show your zeal.”
-Eliana Sidlow

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Eliana Sidlow
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