We’ve all heard this phrase. It’s the subject of songs, it’s an inspirational quote, it’s something we hear but we often don’t take to heart.
And it’s true.
We all create a lot of our own sorrow, often because of poor judgment and unclear thinking. I’ve been married and divorced twice. Avoidable mistakes were made. How many of our problems come from avoidable mistakes? Red flags we choose to ignore that, in hindsight, are very obvious?
A lot of the time we know we’re making mistakes when we’re making them. We know we’re focusing on the wrong things.
What screws us up the most is the stories we tell ourselves about how things are supposed to be. We fixate really hard on stories and that often hurts us, making it hard for us to forgive others, or to forgive ourselves. I’ve often been the victim of myself, focusing on the wrong things. “I want to do that over there and I can’t” instead of focusing on what I can do. Why do we focus so much on the things we don’t have instead of the things we do?
Here’s the good news, though.
We are also our own best friend, at least we can be. We can make the changes that we need to make. We are capable. It takes hard work and dedication, faith in ourselves and an understanding of our limits. We have the power to adjust how we move through the world, how we experience life.
We can set the intention to make changes right now and that’s really where it starts. Not only do we have the ability to help ourselves, but the truth is we’re the only ones who can. That makes it sound harder…no one is going to come save you. But it’s also liberating.
You can do it. It all starts with sitting still and learning who you really are.
Daniel Scharpenburg is a meditation instructor and dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world. Find out more about Daniel on his website and connect with him on Facebook.