Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Suggested Reading

The first quarter of this year has been a bit of a mess for me in several different ways, but I am working to get my feet back under me. I fell into a deep, nasty depression that went on and on. Luckily, I wised up and went to talk to a counselor and my doctor. I am doing quite a bit better now.

In all the chaos, I lost track of the thing I am trying to do this year. Remember my One Big Resolution? Yeah, I'd pretty much forgotten it, too, and I certainly haven't been doing it. Listen to faith. It's taken on a new dimension for me since I went back to it: when I have a choice between trusting myself and my values or doubting them, I need to trust them. I need to trust myself. I need to trust that I hold certain values and beliefs because those things are who and what I am, and I know those things to be right and good for me.

Doubt comes easier to me than faith, but faith works better.

In my attempt to get myself back on the tracks, I have decided to go back and re-read some things that I have found helpful and inspirational in the past. One of those things is Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck, which is a book about finding out what exactly it is that you want or need, and redirecting you life in that direction. I have found that figuring out what I really want is the hard part of getting it. The rest is just doing the work. And the tone of this book is cheerful and encouraging, which is just what I need these days.

Another book I've gone back to is This Year I Will...: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True by M.J. Ryan. It contains specific strategies for actually following through on the things that you want to do. A lot of the ideas may seem kind of obvious, but a lot of us aren't all that great at doing the obvious, and a little reminder can help sometimes.

A final bit of re-reading I've been doing lately is Luke 6. Yep. From the Bible. I realize that a lot of people aren't Christian or aren't religious in any way, so this is not in any way a general recommendation for everyone. What I will recommend, however, is to find something to read that speaks to the kind of person you want to be, whether that's something religious, philosophical, fictional, or from a newspaper advice column. If you're going to read anyway, it might as well be something that reminds you of the best you that you can be.