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Anywhere that you don’t want to be is a prison.

May 22, 2012

Two types of sayings have been helping me stay calm and happy recently, so I thought I’d share.

Type 1: What place is most important?

I’ve been remodeling my home, which takes a degree of patience with all of things that don’t go according to plan. I’ve also had to help my wife deal with the imperfections that come along with this project. While redoing some plumbing beneath a kitchen sink, I believe it was during hour number four; my frustration began to take over when I reminded myself that “Anywhere that I don’t want to be is a prison.” I had heard it while listening to Ajahn Bram, who had a similar saying “I am exactly where I want to be.”

I’ve used both at different times, and for different reasons. But both deliver the same impact; be happy and content with the way things are right now. The various scenarios I’ve used this:

  • Physically in places I may not want to be. Under a kitchen sink, in traffic, or in a meeting.
  • Mentally in places I may not want to be. Bothered by plans not going correctly, or a disagreement from earlier in the day.
  • Not in the state of health I may want to be in. When my muscles are sore after exercise, or I’ve rolled an ankle playing basketball.

Each of these scenarios can become a prison, a place that causes you to feel trapped, overwhelmed, or unhappy. I may want to escape the repeated frustrations brought on from plumbing. I may not want to deal with a problem at work any longer. Or I wish my leg would heal so I could run again. Each scenario is a mental prison.

By reminding myself that I can chose that I am exactly where I want to be, changes the perspective, reduces or even removes the stress, and I can continue on.

Type 2: Who is the most important person?

This one has been surprisingly helpful in prioritizing what I do with my time. The most important person is the one I am with at that time. If I’m with my dog, then it is him. If I am alone, then it’s me.

Often times I’ll have many things I feel that need to get done, by reminding myself who the most important person is, I again gain perspective and relieve my stress. I also feel happier because I’m now doing something good for someone else. I think this is a fantastic rule for family and friends. Your wife, child, and pets are all taken care of. They are the relationships that matter the most, and when those are happy, it’s easy to be happy. When they themselves are stressed, or the bond is weak, then my personal happiness is fragile.

Since incorporating this thought, I feel I’ve been better in my prioritization and those around me have become happier.

Due to all the causes and conditions of the universe, the moment I find myself is exactly the way it’s supposed to be, it couldn’t be any different. How I deal with the now is very important, and what I do now will help define my future. So I remember:

  • “Anywhere that you don’t want to be is a prison” or “I am exactly where I want to be”
  • “The most important person is the one I am with”
One Comment leave one →
  1. dennisvw permalink
    May 22, 2012 2:00 pm

    I needed this reminder, Thx!

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