The Sober Touch – Finding Yourself in an Opinionated World

Have you Lost Touch with Yourself and Your Beliefs? Have Your Opinions Taken Over Your Life?

It’s time to find sobriety in all manner of speaking, and be true to you and, therefore, to others!

Feeling down, blue, or overwhelmed? Ever find yourself feeling discontent, melancholic, or like there’s a void in your life? Chances are, you’ve drifted away from your core values. Your values are the essence of who you are. When you neglect or betray them, it’s a disconcerting experience. It ranges from a nagging discomfort to full-blown sadness, stress, or even depression if it persists. That’s why reconnecting with yourself is paramount.

Embracing a values-driven existence, though challenging at times, is incredibly rewarding. It fosters confidence, self-respect, and esteem. Understanding and honoring your values is the gateway to unlocking your individual power and nurturing a genuinely gratifying and purposeful life. When you find yourself adrift from your true self or your values, it’s crucial to understand how you ended up there in the first place. This awareness empowers you, paving the way for you to reestablish a connection with your authentic values.

7 Ways We Lose Touch with Our Values

  1. Holding onto Outdated Values: Despite evolving and forming new beliefs, we cling to values instilled in us from the past, causing inner conflict. Example: Despite realizing the importance of relaxation, we persist in overworking, leading to dissatisfaction and tension.
  2. ‘Should’ Values: We conform to societal expectations rather than embracing our true selves, resulting in a life that feels hollow and unfulfilled. Example: Despite outward success, we feel like we’re living someone else’s life because we’re adhering to societal norms rather than pursuing our authentic desires.
  3. Negative Associations: Early in life, expressing certain values led to negative reactions, causing us to suppress them in adulthood, even though they’re vital to our happiness. Example: Being scolded for daydreaming as a child may lead us to suppress our sense of wonder as adults, leaving us feeling unfulfilled.
  4. Fear of Change: We resist aligning with our values because it necessitates confronting uncomfortable truths or making difficult adjustments. Example: Despite recognizing the importance of rest after a health scare, we revert to old habits of overwork to avoid change.
  5. Overemphasis on a Single Value: We become fixated on one value to the detriment of others, leading to imbalance and dissatisfaction. Example: Prioritizing work over relationships or health, neglecting essential aspects of life in pursuit of excellence.
  6. Emulating Others: We adopt the values of those we admire without considering if they align with our authentic selves, leading to dissatisfaction and confusion. Example: Mimicking someone’s selflessness may lead to burnout if it doesn’t align with our innate desires and needs.
  7. Unconscious Habits: Deeply ingrained negative values manifest as unconscious behaviors undermining our relationships and well-being. Example: Despite rejecting competitiveness, ingrained habits of one-upmanship persist, causing friction in relationships.

Do any of these scenarios resonate with you or someone you know? Recognizing where we’ve strayed from our values is the first step toward reclaiming authenticity and fulfillment. Another good point to remember is that the thoughts we harbor shape our beliefs, influencing our emotions, actions, and eventual outcomes. So, the way we think can decide our emotions and how we act on them! Often to our own detriment! In this way, we are responsible for our actions and our re-actions.

Reacting to Opinions – It’s Your Choice

The opinions and behaviors of others are reflections of their own perspectives, not a judgment of our worth. If they were truly about us, everyone’s reactions would be uniform. Our deeply ingrained belief systems are innately subjective, blinding us to the fact that our perceptions are colored by our own biases, not objective truths.

Engaging in futile arguments against reality only breeds suffering. Embracing acceptance of what IS brings about inner peace. We are all human and true mental freedom doesn’t mean banishing negative thoughts altogether. It just means being open to alternative perspectives and possibilities. For many of us, judgment may be instinctual, aiding us in assessing threats and making decisions, but true healing is rooted in compassion, not condemnation.

Despite our natural inclination to judge, it’s crucial to recognize that our harshest critic often resides within. Unchecked, this inner voice can impede emotional and physical healing. Cultivating compassion allows us to approach ourselves and others with grace, promoting patience and kindness in our thoughts and actions. Rather than seeking external validation, true growth emerges from within. By shifting our focus inward, we can transform from a state of despair to one of love and gratitude, overcoming chronic illness and finding fulfillment. So, changing our thought patterns can lead to profound shifts in our choices, even the smallest decisions can profoundly impact our health and overall well-being.

On the other hand, according to Faras Dossani, opinions DO matter! He believes that “No one has had the same experiences as you or possesses the same combination of knowledge and perspective. As a result, your opinion is unique to you. Sharing it can help others see things in a different light or provide new insights.”

Opinions abound in our modern world thanks to increasing social media platforms and the internet, voicing thoughts and beliefs is rife. Despite this accessibility, however, many individuals still find themselves hesitant to vocalize their perspectives. Whether it’s due to a fear of judgment, a desire for validation, or simply a struggle with articulation, silence often prevails. Yet, the truth remains: your opinion holds weight. Whether within your personal sphere or on a broader scale, the act of expressing your beliefs carries immense importance.

Why Your Opinion Matters

  1. Uniqueness of Perspective: Your opinion is shaped by your blend of unique experiences, knowledge, and insights. Sharing it can offer others fresh perspectives and novel insights, enriching discourse and broadening understanding.
  2. Relationship Building: Expressing your opinion builds stronger connections with those around you—be it friends, family, or colleagues. It demonstrates a willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue and signals respect for differing viewpoints.
  3. Promoting Critical Thinking: Vocalizing your opinion often creates space to reflect on your own beliefs and to be more open to alternative viewpoints – you gain a more nuanced understanding of the world, facilitating personal growth and intellectual development.
  4. Driving Change: History has been formed and molded according to an enormous diversity of different voices. From movements for social justice to environmental advocacy and political reform, speaking out has catalyzed change and the human race continues to evolve.

We all know that speaking up isn’t always a walk in the park. Articulating thoughts with clarity and sensitivity can pose challenges, and the prospect of disagreement or backlash looms large. However, the rewards of vocalizing your perspective far outweigh the risks. By sharing your unique viewpoint, you contribute to critical discourse, forge connections, and potentially spark positive change.

In essence, your opinion holds value. Taking the time to reflect on your beliefs and express them thoughtfully can make a tangible difference, both in your personal sphere and beyond. So, embrace the opportunity to speak up—your voice matters, and you never know whose ears it may reach. It’s your choice – say how you feel and be kind or keep quiet and allow others to wield more power!

That being said, I will leave you with this message from Nathanial Bibby:

People will talk. They always have. And they always will.

No matter what you do or say, how you behave, the way you walk or dress, how you act, or the decisions you make.

You will always be at the scrutiny of people’s opinions, who, let’s face it, don’t have all the information.

Like the herd of lions swooping in for the kill, they prey on the weak, looking for those they can taunt and torment.

And it gets to us.

We allow other people’s opinions to not only hurt us, but oftentimes, to define us.

But it doesn’t matter what other people think of you.

It doesn’t matter what other people say about you behind closed doors or even right in front of your face.

Their opinions have no basis in defining what you’re all about.

They aren’t the truth.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.

Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

But this isn’t something new.

As children, we tend to gang up on others in an effort to not only make that person feel bad, but to make ourselves feel better.

Just because someone is different from you, doesn’t make them inferior.

No one is better than you no matter what.

No matter the color of their skin, their religion, their occupation, nor anything else for that matter.

It’s hard to suppress your emotions when people are doing their best just to get you going.

Still, it’s important to take the high road.

It’s important to turn the other cheek and look the other way.

Not only for your own sanity, but for the simple fact that you shouldn’t give others the pleasure of insulting you.

You shouldn’t allow their negativity to stir you into a fury.

No matter what decision you make, someone is going to be upset.

It’s impossible to please everyone.

No matter what anyone else says or thinks about you, taking the high road is always a better choice.

Turn the other cheek no matter how much it burns you or hurts you inside to do so.

Ignore the naysayers and don’t fall into the trap of negativity.

At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did.

It doesn’t matter what other people think.

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