It’s difficult to sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself, because there’s simply so much in the way. There’s interference, distractions, and problems to negotiate. People are by their nature oblivious, and deceitful, especially towards themselves. You might not realize something about yourself until it becomes shockingly obvious. If someone points out a personal truth about you and it hurts, it’s often because you didn’t want to believe it. Our flaws get in the way of an honest assessment of ourselves.
People also have incredible tenacity and endurance. We can endure hardship for longer that we should. Our self deceit takes us off course, and our stubbornness keeps us lost. Adversity also gives us opportunity. Think about the people who’ve bounced back and achieved greatness after a fall. Even if we’re lost and stumbling around in the dark, there’s absolutely no reason to give up.
Mindfulness is something that’s hard to put your hands on. Being aware of yourself isn’t easy with all the distractions and problems. Sometimes you get a break through and realize: ‘I really am stressed out’. Even rarer are the moments when you realize exactly why: ‘it’s because I’m taking too much on’. Then you have the trouble of finding the right thing to do about it: ‘I need to change something, but what?’. And what are the chances we will actually end up making the right change? Instead, we cling to fragile structures with the hope that they will protect us from crashing and burning. A job. An apartment. A credit score. A perception of our own identity.
Today I woke up and decided to focus on having the right attitude. It might not solve problems, but it lets me approach them with a clearer frame of mind. Having the right attitude saves me frustration and prevents stress. I don’t want to waste time worrying over things that don’t change the outcome.