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Soulful Sundays: No Matter Where You Go

About two years ago I was in a bad way. I was overworking, I was living in a relationship that had badly deteriorated, and I was generally not very pleasant to be around. My zeal for life had died down to a flicker that I preciously guarded each day. I was not having any fun and was becoming more socially isolated. So, what did I do? I booked a trip to Mexico to reconnect with my brother, and, more importantly, to reconnect with myself. While on that trip I discovered the meaning of the old Confucian saying, "no matter where you go, there you are."

We are shaped by our environment, of course. It is hard to read if you don't have access to books, hard to eat well if you don't have access to good food, and hard to feel at ease when you are constantly under stress. However, there is more in our environment that we have control over than most of us realize. We have a large degree of control over our internal environment which acts as the lens through which we experience our world. Change the lens and you can change the world.

Now back to the trip to Mexico. I had a choice to make. I could either go on this vacation, not reflect on my life at home, and pray that things would just magically make sense when I returned, or I could use the environmental shift to help me consider possibilities that I had been missing before. I chose the second option and spent many hours processing my life both with my brother and alone. What I realized was that I was not happy with my own decisions leading up to my current situation. I had made too many of them inauthentically out of a place of fear and insecurity. I knew this because when I considered them from afar, I still felt insecure. I had not yet learned the lesson that my life was cramming down my throat. It took me another 10 months to actually get there, but I eventually did.

If you believe that the reason that you are unhappy (or are failing to thrive) is related to where you live take a second to reflect. Where can you take ownership of your situation? In what ways do you have control of your environment, both inside and out? Are you trying to leave a bad situation before you have learned the life lesson? We are doomed to repeat the same mistakes if we don't consciously address them. You know the ones I'm talking about. Be brave.

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