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Enjoying the deferral of death

“When we go through life waiting for our struggles to be recognised, to be seen as the walking wounded, or the ones that survived, we become defined by that survival. We become survivors. Survivors don’t enjoy the sweetness of life. They simply enjoy the deferral of death.” From The Egosystem in the chapter titled Recognise My Struggle.

When we lack appreciation for who we are, we seek that validation from those around us by highlighting our struggles so that they may admire our strength or resolve.

When we focus on reciprocation, we find reason to emphasise what we do for others, often by mentioning it to anyone that will listen, because again, we lack appreciation for who we are and therefore go out in search of validating the good that we do for others, hoping that it will give us reason to feel worthy.

We wear the badge of martyrdom when we feel sorry for ourselves, believing that we’re not appreciated or valued, and that our only value to those around us is in how we serve them.

These are a few examples of how we diminish the value of what we do because we’re trading it for recognition or praise, rather than doing it because we believe in the value of what we do.

When we mention the good that we do, we become distracted by the praise, and we lose sight of the dignity of those we assisted by mentioning their neediness while highlighting our generosity.

At the heart of it all is a low self-esteem.

Once we reach the age of awareness, our self-esteem is no longer inherited from our parents. It’s defined by our gratitude for who we are and what we have.

The survivor mindset undermines gratitude because it anchors our focus on everything that we need to overcome, while distracting us from everything that is good and wholesome, or blessed in our lives.

That’s when the sweetness of life is lost, and feeling good about ourselves becomes dependent on how others acknowledge or praise the good that we do, or the struggles that we overcome.

At which point will we pause to consider how blessed we are to have the ability and the resources to overcome those very same struggles?

It always starts with you.

#hope #expectation #sincerity #selfworth #selfawareness #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #lifecoaching #zaidismail #loveyourself #lifegoals #motivation #optimism #purpose #gratitude

Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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