Monday, June 11, 2012

It All Comes From Within

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Growing up, my dad would always tell me that if I had a problem with someone or something else, to look within myself first.  I remember taking the idea into consideration, but it wasn’t long before I went right back to blaming my problems on outside sources.  To be perfectly honest, I still do.  We all do.  Why, I do not know.  Perhaps it is pride, or not wanting to take responsibility for our actions, or maybe it is just human nature.  But if we take the time to turn inward, to look within ourselves, before passing judgment or criticizing others or placing blame on something or someone other than ourselves, we will find something humbling.  We will find that the real culprit is lurking inside of us, creating much more of a problem than anything on the outside ever could.

 When some friends of yours show you their new house, you are immediately taken by how large and lovely it is.  You think about your own, much smaller home, and begin to get angry that you don’t make enough money at your current job and it is holding you back from having everything you want.  You become stressed and frustrated as you stew over your current situation.   Look within yourself—it is not your job, but internal envy of what others have that is causing your frustration.
One of your close girlfriends just got engaged.  You tell her you are happy for her, but secretly you are bitter.  How could she get engaged before you?  She always had better luck with guys.  It’s just not fair!  Now all the attention is going to be on her because she is getting married and you will be on the back burner.  You are older anyway, so shouldn’t you be getting married first?  Look within yourself—it is not your friends’ engagement, but internal jealousy that is plaguing your heart.

 You have a successful career and are able to afford more than you could ever need.  But you still aren’t happy.  You think there’s just one more thing you need to be content, yet when you finally get that thing you realize that it hasn’t satisfied you and you still want more.  Look within yourself—it is not material things that are causing your unhappiness, it is greed and ungratefulness.
You get into an argument with a coworker about something you know you are wrong about, but do not want to admit it.  Your coworker calls you out on it and exposes your mistake to everyone else.  You become angry and decide that you no longer like that coworker and cease talking to him.  Look within yourself—it is not the coworkers’ actions but your own pride that is the issue at stake. 

 These are just a few examples of how people can become controlled by the demons which live inside their hearts.  When we fail to recognize them, we find excuses for our problems in the outside world.  In reality, no one and nothing is responsible for the way we perceive our lives other than ourselves.  We have the choice to be miserable and constantly blame the world for the undesirable things in our lives, or to look within ourselves and correct our hearts.     
You and only you are responsible for everything you think, do, and say.  Take some time to yourself to focus on these things.  Hear your thoughts, see your actions, and study your words.  If you discover that these things are mostly negative, or if you begin blaming outside sources for what you find, it is time to make a change.  It may be hard to admit to yourself that what lies in your own heart is the source of your burdens, but the great thing is that you also have the control to make a change.  You have the strength to overcome your troubles and become the best version of you. You have the ability to find acceptance in what lies behind you and create happiness in what lies before you.  You are the one who is able to enrich that which lies within you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa,
    You are so right, it all comes from within, we are cannot blame our actions on anyone. I have learnt that in some painful ways.
    Following you from the blog walk, have a great week! God bless!