By John Shoemaker
“No man is free who is not a master of himself.” – Epictetus
It is very easy to blame circumstances for how we feel. After all, there is much injustice in the world. We have all been victims of unfair treatment, and most worldly affairs cannot be changed by us at will. So, if the current affairs of life turn against us in some way; we often are tempted to return the favor by resenting them. While this may seem justifiable in truth it is an ineffective approach to dealing with the realities of life.
Rather than to live the life of a victim we can choose a path of empowerment. To do this we must become aware of our inner feelings. We must also set intentions for our desired state of being and be willing to make changes to how we react to the world around us. This takes study, discipline, practice, and execution.
In order to achieve this level of living more consciously we need to have daily practices and tools such as meditation that we can use to help us handle the ongoing challenges and choices of life. Regular practice helps us to view the world through a clearer and more focused lens and gives us a greater ability to zoom in on what is truly relevant for us. By doing so we can determine our role in the circumstances of life.
This practice gradually leads us away from a life of blame as we take greater responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and actions. Resulting in the realization of more freedom regardless of what the world around us may look like.
About the Author: John Shoemaker is a meditation instructor and mindfulness coach, writer, and musician who works full-time in the field of mental health and substance abuse recovery. His website is johnshoemaker.net