Properly Count Your Blessings

masculinity mental health Sep 02, 2023
Properly Count Your Blessings

In this era, there are many people who go about their lives with a very strong sense of self-entitlement. These people are living while stuck in an illusion made from their delusions. We all have a cognitive bias that makes us feel as if the spotlight is on us, but these people have it dialed up to 11. This state of being is the worst to live with, as it keeps you disconnected from reality. To avoid this state of being, you need to properly count your blessings.

When you stop taking into account what you have, negative or positive, you become detached from reality. This leads to a lack of gratitude for what they do have.

When you lack gratitude for what you have, whether it's a negative thing or positive, you disconnect from not only those around you but also from yourself. 

As a man, the last thing you want is to be disconnected from yourself since this prevents you from properly growing from your mistakes. Here are two mindsets to help you properly count your blessings.

1. Left & right, up & down, advantage & disadvantage

Consider this: we would not know certain things, emotions, or states without their opposites. We wouldn't know light without dark, or hungry without fullness. We cannot know one without the other, yet so many people wish to go about their lives with one eliminated.

This is not to say you should seek out suffering. Even if you're into that, I would advise against it. What I am saying is you shouldn't eliminate all difficulties from your life.

Have you ever heard somebody complain nonstop about their current circumstances? It's annoying as all hell and you wish you could either leave or shut them up.

These people are prime examples of what happens when you don't properly count your blessings.

Regardless of what happens in your life, you are the one who gets to decide how it affects you. If you choose for it to be a terrible blow from which you never recover, that's what it is.

However, if you choose to take a tragedy as a teaching moment, or a moment to become stronger, or both, then you will reap benefits that outweigh the pain.

I remember when I had my last surgery. It was in 2019, and something in my back had gotten a little out of place.

From my previous hospital experiences in B.C., the wifi was actually very solid, good enough for me to play games online with my friends. However, this time around the wifi was unable to give me that same entertainment that I wanted.

I was stuck in the hospital for a month with no way to access the video games I wanted to play, with no work to keep me busy.

If this had happened to me a few years prior, I would've been upset. However, because of my past experiences with the hospital, I knew there was nothing that complaining would do to change anything.

The lesson I learned from my past surgeries was that if I can survive, then there's nothing I can't overcome eventually and there's no reason to complain. This lesson kept me sane for a month without the entertainment I desired and continues to keep me grounded and sane today.

The patience & perseverance I had learned from my past experiences in the hospital led me to keep myself busy by seeking out the entertainment that I could manage on the hospital wifi. On top of that, this experience only added to my patience and perseverance, cementing it as one of my default responses to misfortune.

Rather than having an attitude of 'Woe is me', I chose to make the best of that experience and I was rewarded for it. Rather than choosing to stay negative, choose to see the positive.

2. Eliminating unhelpful subjectivity

Have you ever stopped to consider that a lot of what we consider to be right and wrong are entirely subjective? Somebody else said that it was so, and others agreed with it. This is how a lot of our morals came to be. This is a problem. 

In this world, there is a lot going on. One way to think of it is that the world will keep moving onward, even if you do not.

If you stop moving when the world keeps moving, you will be left behind and will have to play catch up. With how fast the world moves today, that leads to a big challenge.

The biggest reason people get stuck is precisely because of subjectivity. I'm confident you've at least heard of somebody being absolutely devastated by a loss, such as a break-up or losing a family member.

Even in these scenarios, the "bad" part of the experience is only as bad as you choose it to be. The reason why we label these terrible experiences as bad is because of the subjectivity we were raised with.

We've been conditioned to avoid bad and never question good, which is why so many people are blindsided when something bad happens to them. Because their default when something bad happens is to avoid it, they don't know how to handle or process it. 

This leads to a terrible scenario: people intentionally ignoring their own trauma.

Mind you, avoiding bad scenarios isn't just done by straight-up avoiding it. Saying something like 'Grandma is in heaven with god now' is also an example of avoidance.

In order to properly count your blessings, you must stay rooted in reality. This requires you to look at life through the lens of reality.

When a loved one passes away, they have passed away. Take the time to grieve and fully process your emotions. 

However, you don't have to leave the outlook negative. Rather than seeing it as they are gone forever, you can see it as an opportunity to celebrate their life and honor their memory.

The point I'm trying to get at here is, instead of waiting for the suffering to pass, take the action necessary to make it pass faster. Instead of waiting around, praying for something to change, make the change happen yourself.

We only suffer as much as we allow ourselves to. The easiest way to minimize this is to change the way you see your suffering.

Reality truly can be whatever you want it to be

Reality is somewhat subjective. Let's be real here. Everybody experiences reality differently, yet there are still elements of reality that are consistent.

Death, life, hunger, and pain are a few factors that are consistent with everybody's perception of reality. And yet, even though we may experience the same thing we can take different lessons away from it.

Just because your reality doesn't line up with your idea of a perfect life, it doesn't mean there isn't anything good in your life right now. You simply need to look a little harder and you'll find a few hidden blessings.

- Karl