We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
-Carlos Castenada

Today’s quote is an important reminder that life does not just unfold automatically. It suggests that we are working hard to create the general trajectory of our lives—whether we realize it or not. Often it seems as though we struggle so hard to escape misery and undesirable consequences, but just as often, if we look at our lives and the decisions that created them from a different angle, we can learn to see that we actually have to work hard to keep the dysfunctional patterns alive and reoccurring. Addiction is a perfect example. For those addicted to drugs or alcohol, the amount of work it takes to cater to these substances, with or without adding the burden of simultaneously functioning on some level with life, is unimaginable to all who have not been through it. Recovery, too, can be arduous. It requires diligence, consistency, integrity, and one must face quite a learning curve in the beginning. The point is that whether or not we are locked within a dysfunctional pattern of living that creates feelings of unhappiness and discord, or whether we are living consciously in a way that honors and nurtures ourselves deeply, it takes very hard work. The first step is to realize that we are working hard to keep our lives just the way they are. Once we have truly taken responsibility, we are much freer to make conscious changes, and direct our work in a chosen direction.

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