How well do we know ourselves?

‘Most of do not understand why we are unhappy and why we are not satisfied with our life and who is responsible for this situation. Besides all the major personal problems which we are directly responsible for we also create other problems on a social level like racial, traditional religious and economic problems which divide mankind.’

Dr K Sri Dhammananda

Taking ownership of our problems and our reactions is a monumental step in the direction of liberty. We all like to blame external circumstances and people for where we end up. Many like to blame devils and evil forces. The truth about this belief system is its convenient and a great way to avoid ourselves. Taking ownership takes courage. It involves not hiding behind a drink, religion, the cultural norm, and old pile of excuses.

Our mind and ego will tell us that our story and our alibis are legitimate excuses for our bad reactions and response. In our hearts, we can feel and know this is a lie. We know we have played our part in all our misery. Poor nutrition is a great example of something people rarely discuss when they get ill. (colds especially, I caught it from work is a great excuse) If you look into the illness and if they are honest, you will see poor nutrition often is the underlying issue.  Complaining about your dentist bill while drinking Coke makes no sense.

It’s tough to take control of your responses and thoughts that cause them. I know having bipolar all my life. It’s a daily commitment to better living and better relationships. I have heard people say to gauge how life is going, ‘look at the quality of relationships you are in.’

I agree with this statement. It holds truth. If you are fighting and blaming everyone around you it’s time to look in the mirror. The mirror is painful; I know. I had a lifetime of relationship challenges. Having an undiagnosed mood disorder for many years caused me no end of friction with others. We all can make the effort to improve our lives.

Sadly, it takes a crisis for many of us, including me to wake up and rebuild. The first steps are always difficult, and the road is tough. Be patient with yourself. Tough lessons take time and rebuilding does not happen overnight. You must distance yourself from toxic people and if you have a life controlling addiction address this first. Get help. There are some great medical professionals out there and some irresponsible ones too. Make sure you shop around and find a good one. You can overcome addictions if you are willing to reach out and work hard.

Finally, don’t give up. Let the past go and stop obsessing about the future. Manage your days one step at a time. Small steps. A simple life and being a minimalist reduce the stress in life for me and make change more manageable. Looking after your health also strengthens you to face change and improves the quality of your thoughts. You can do this just like me. Each day is new and full of possibilities. Each day does offer us a chance to be a better version of ourselves.

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