Having peace of mind means living in daring sync with reality – honestly, freely — rather than expecting passivity. Because we have a purpose, a driving force, that moves us forward to step into the unknown as if we may land on nothing, yet always hoping because there’s something that sustains us.
Mental health isn’t only about the mind. It’s about being well. Having a sense of wellness helps us be more productive, make wiser choices, and effectively handle stress. Wellness is the sense of harmony we experience out of the healthy interaction between the main parts of our integrated self – our emotional, physical, spiritual, and social being.
We say that we have an integrated self when we can:
healthily attach to others and let others attach to us
set healthy boundaries to establish ourselves
accept and integrate the parts we don’t like much about ourselves to assert our competence as adults
Wellness reflects the willful acceptance of oneself the way one really is, which allows the realization of one’s full potential. Accepting oneself means building one’s self on solid, positive, and affirming beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. And one does that for one’s own sake, not because of someone or something else.
“I’m gonna love the self I’m building because it’s me!” It may sound a little selfish to some people, but it’s a healthy measure of self-care.
Those who grew up in a religious environment may have internalized powerful concepts such as self-denial, self-sacrifice, and pious humbleness. The misunderstood application of these spiritual virtues, which contradicts the universal commandment to love ourselves so we can also love others, may cause low self-esteem, harsh self-judgment, and other relational and functional problems. These spiritual virtues are meant to be practiced in particular spiritual circumstances. They aren’t meant to interfere with our emotional and psychological health, albeit being humble, altruistic, and spiritual are also an important part of our general wellness.
How to Establish Your Healthy Self
Ray and Aaira are newlyweds. Both are professionals and independent regarding career, personal pursuits, and finances. Their relationship is intentionally respectful of individual boundaries. That is particularly important to Aaira since she comes from a family and culture wherein she often felt voiceless and sidelined. As they settled in their new place, Ray proposed the unification of their finances and bank accounts. Aaira felt uncomfortable as she re-experienced an old sense of hated dependency that she worked hard to leave behind.
Although the concept of oneness in marriage or an intimate partnership is critical for a successful relationship, a healthy sense of oneness doesn’t demand the sacrifice of the individual self.
On the contrary, a healthy sense of oneness is based on unconditional love, trust, and respect for each other. It’s nothing to do with power or control. If one of the partners needs more time to build a healthier ego or sense of self, then being intentionally respectful to that need demonstrates love and respect to the partner and the relationship.
Consider the case of cell phones, for example. Today, a cell phone is a lot more than just a phone or even a portable computer. It’s an extension of oneself. We access contacts, finances, social media, appointments, and much more with our cell phones. Our entire functional and relational life is in that small device. Our cell phones are an extension of who and what we are. And more and more, we are becoming more uncomfortable with people who touch, grab, or access our phones without our consent – it doesn’t matter who they are. It feels like a violation of our self.
Establishing a healthy self to improve our general wellness and having peace of mind begins with a small but significant step. Build a more robust ego by setting boundaries with something practical, like your cell phone – if that’s something that may work for you. You’ll be establishing part of your healthy self before others, and perhaps you may even be protecting yourself. Abusers tend to check their partners’ phones without their consent, demand complete access to the device, and even install spyware to exercise control over their partners.
Build peace of mind by establishing your healthy self one healthy boundary at a time.