Mindfulness By Chris Akins / 4 years ago How many times have you felt like a victim? Like no matter what you do or how hard you try life is just against you. Like you deserve more or better in life. Many gurus will foster your sense of self-pity, and tell you that you are right. You deserve more. I’m not that guy. You see, in my view we are all part of a natural system. And that natural system is governed by laws. And at the end of the day, we as people are not so special that we are exempt from those laws. And one of the most fundamental laws in nature is causality. In other words, our actions (or inactions) have consequences. For some this may sound incredibly harsh. To me it used to. I work with some of the most downtrodden and miserable people on the planet. Homeless veterans suffering from mental illness, and often at the same time struggling with addictions. As a veteran myself, I have a huge amount of empathy (and sometimes sympathy) for each and every one of the men I work with. It is very easy for me to get upset with nature, and think that they deserve better! After all, they have sacrificed for our way of life. They all have some great personal characteristics and strengths, including an almost inhuman resilience in the face of adversity. Yet, they are in a transitional housing program, many with broken bodies, minds, and spirits. Do consequences suck!? Now I could go on a diatribe about social injustice; or about the way our system dooms many of our citizens to poverty and failure. And there is some statistical merit to those positions. We can certainly do better. However, these are really just excuses. You see, as sentient, intelligent human beings we always have choices. And the choices we make in life set us down paths that we are capable of constantly assessing and influencing through choices we make moment by moment. So the bad news is there is no escaping responsibility for the course our lives take. For even if we are beset by poor upbringing, personal trauma, injuries, disabilities, or other events or circumstances that may be truly beyond our control, we are still in control of our responses and attitudes towards those uncontrollable circumstances. And that is the really great news. That control means we are able to make decisions constantly, and change our paths to create better circumstances than the ones we may be currently in. But doing this requires a conscious approach to life. It requires that we switch off auto pilot and actually use the incredible powers of our minds to remain in control and make decisions that influence our lives in positive ways. The first step in charting a better course is to accept that you are in charge, and you are responsible for where you are at right now, and where you will be at any given moment in the future. Then live accordingly.