What is ruining your life?

Oddly enough, the only way you can break out of any trap you have gotten into is by discovering what is ruining your life. Fortunately, it is always something that you are still doing, or not doing. Otherwise, you would not be able to save yourself.

Let me give you some ideas to think about.

Many people, if you ask them this question, will say confidently, “I am doing all that I can! It’s these other #@$%**% idiots who are making me miserable, who don’t appreciate me, or who are preventing me from being successful!” They may even insist, “It’s because I don’t have enough money!!!”

Unfortunately for them, it’s never about money. Money is merely a form of economic energy, a useful yardstick of commercial viability, and that’s all. Your money or lack of it, only shows how much attention you have put on creating an exchange for what you produce.

Take a look at the people you know who are not doing well in life. Almost always, you will see a pattern of behavior that is counter-survival. They could be using drugs, alcohol, anti-depressants or even work to avoid confronting and handling the real problems in their lives. Some use sex, eating or even shopping to escape from the everyday misery of life.

For most of these people, the idea of a personal ruin is beyond their comprehension. It’s almost always someone else’s fault.

Even those who seem to be willing to take responsibility for their condition will justify what is going on by pointing to various factors that prevent them from changing for the better. These people are almost impossible to help until they realize what is actually ruining their lives.

My blogging friend Denny writes about the frustration of trying to help a friend break a long term addiction. His words could speak for many of us.

I’ve exhausted all my resources of encouragement.
I have no more good will left.
He knows the challenge better than anyone,
and he doesn’t want to hear what other people
have to say about it.

You cannot help someone who refuses your help. You can only watch in helpless frustration while they slide inexorably toward self-destruction. It doesn’t matter whether their apparent plight is due to spousal abuse, public condemnation, or any other apparent external source. The only way someone like that will turn around is to crash and burn so catastrophically that they cannot shrug it off and resume life as before.

Those of us who have hit the wall hard enough in our lives or careers have been given the opportunity to confront our own mortality and our lack of answers. This can be a turning point.

For some of us this takes a long time, because we are resilient as well as stubborn in our courting of disaster. We walk away from one crash after another until we finally hit the big one and recognize it as the final wakeup call.

Others cannot face the fact of any personal responsibility for their crash and continue on a downward spiral which ends in death or squatting in the rain on a street corner with a hand-lettered cardboard sign reading Please Help.

Those who are open to change can realize that their “successful” actions are not working any more and it may be time to change. This opens the door to a whole new adventure, discovering who they really are and what they really want to do. This quest can result in a whole new life, but it is not for the faint-hearted.

I may make that the subject of future posts, “What to do after you hit the wall.”

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