Being “AS IF” When I’m Feeling So-So


Have you ever met someone who always seems to be in a perpetual state of well being?  Or perhaps you knew a friend’s mother who never reflected a bad mood.  What about those rare people who have endless energy while giving to those in need.  They are the true saints of this world; the ones who care more about the needs of others, than they do about the nuances of their emotions.  Others, like myself, tend to wear their emotions like a daily change of clothes.  Why can’t I be like that mother that always had a smile on her face, warmth in her heart, and a chuckle followed by a genuine hug when her child makes a mistake?  I tend to mask my inner stress with sarcasm, rather than being present and thinking of the needs of my loved ones.  Progress

Recently, I recalled a saying we have in recovery which places us in an awareness state of our actions, rather than unconsciously being driven by our emotions, worries or fears.  “Act as if…(fill in the blank)”  Act as if… I’m the kindest person in the world.  Act as if… I’m perpetually filled with joy.  Act as if… I were in a really good mood today.  Act as if… I were not annoyed right now, or as if I were light hearted, or non-controlling.  The thing about this is… it really works.  If you wake up in the morning with an intention to treat others with pure, unadulterated kindness, you will discover yourself much more aware of your behaviors and actions prior to them seeping out.  You will take heed in what you say to others, and stop yourself before you express negativity. 

This goes a long way, and for those of us who are seeking self-awareness, this is like placing yourself under the heat first thing in the morning.  It takes the power away from others, or from circumstance, and reminds me that I am responsible for how I behave.  It reminds me to thoughtfully respond, instead of to blindly react.  It places me back into conscious awareness of myself; and the world with all the people, offer me plenty of opportunity to practice compassion and gentleness, as opposed to retorting.

We have to be reminded of ourselves.  We tend to project our inner anger, stress or fears onto the world, but if we make an agreement with ourselves to be more compassionate, even though we don’t exactly feel compassionate, we are teaching ourselves how to become a genuinely compassionate person.  This isn’t about faking your way through life.  It’s simply about setting a daily intention to practice being a better human being.  In time, I believe, this practice becomes an art form of who we are.  After all, our true nature is kindness, goodness, love and well-being.  It’s a good way to shed the ole’ ego and to become genuine.  It also feels better to offer kindness and laughter rather than sighs and sarcasm. 

I am not writing this just to the reader.  I am here reminding myself of what I need to do today, and how I need to be.  I want to walk along the path of grace, and I long to have power in my life, where I am moving mountains.  Often that mountain is my own ego.  What better way to begin the day than telling my ego to go twiddle its invisible thumbs, while my gentle spirit leads the way?  <Great big smile here.>  If I’m going to talk the talk; I’d better walk the walk…

(Speaking of Ego, I wrote a book all about it and it’s free on Kindle this week.  This is my addiction to recovery memoir.)

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