Friday, June 29, 2012
Do Not Expect Anything Outside Yourself to Solve Your Problems
When we are having issues in some area of our life, it is obvious that we need to change something. We are clearly off in some way and that is what is causing strife in our lives. Often times, we look to change something on the outside. If we just do X,Y or Z, that will fix the problem. We will be happy. This really is not the case though. All the things outside of us serve as triggers of what is going on inside of us. If we really want to change, we need to work on ourselves, not changing the outside circumstances we find ourselves in. Nothing on the outside can ever solve our problems.
Outside changes are only a part of what needs to be done to resolve whatever it is you want to resolve. I know a lot of people who feel stuck in life think that moving to a new location and getting a fresh start will be the answer to all of their problems. As someone who has spent an extensive amount of time living and traveling abroad, trust me, this is not the answer. Since all of our issues result from within, your issues will be with you no matter where you are physically located. You will not leave your problems at the boarding gate, I assure you of that. This sort of experience can no doubt produce wonderful changes in you, but for most of us, the issues that plague us having nothing to do with our geographical location and moving somewhere else will do nothing to address them.
Now, this is not to say that making changes on the outside will never have an effect, as they surely can produce some pretty good results that will get us on the right track. If you are a recovering drug addict, cutting ties with friends who still use is probably a good thing that will help you stay sober. If you are extremely introverted and sensitive to noise and chaos, moving out of the city and into the countryside or a quiet suburb will probably have a positive impact on your well-being. If you are feeling stifled and looking to live a life of adventure, leaving your one-stoplight town to live in a foreign country will probably make you feel more alive. If you have low-self esteem, finding a great relationship will probably give you a boost. Ideally, the outside changes will serve as a catalyst to self-examination and the inner work to address the root causes of your problems.
If you are really looking to make positive changes in your life or change yourself, you need to be willing to do the internal work or you will just get partial results. The outside changes may temporarily suppress the issues but they will rear their ugly heads again in time. You will get stuck in a pattern of jumping from one change to the next trying to find that magic path to happiness and you will always be coming up short. Nothing outside of us can ever make us happy, that all comes from within.