“Age is covered with cosmetics,
Gray hidden with dye,
Confidence is sought in men,
Awareness deferred for the future.
She toils on her job,
Enduring tension and fatigue,
Subsisting on tranquilizers,
Pinning future hopes on her children.
Many people allow themselves to be trapped into a miserable life. When we see this, we might think ‘How tragic,’ but in actuality, they did it to themselves. We should all know how our lives are going, for we need only track the decisions that confront us every day.
There are people who think that it does not matter what they do. Or they shrug that they are victims of circumstance. That does not justify an unhappy life. Illness, stress, divorce, maladjusted children, and fear of death trap us.
Those who follow Tao do not want to end up in this way. They want to be free. They do not want to be victims. Therefore, although it is a difficult path, they constantly seek to expand the parameters of their lives. They do not suffer to be exploited or enslaved, and they will eschew what is considered ‘normal’ in order to be happy.”
- Deng Ming-Dao (365 Tao Daily Meditations)
There is no one who holds responsibility for our lives other than ourselves. Often people will attempt to transfer the blame onto others, but this is merely a futility, a temporary escape from responsibility. The responsibility always lies with ourselves. No one made us angry, no one ruined our lives, no one trapped us in a job we hate. We did all those things, or we let them happen at least.
Often we let these things happen because to do something different seems too difficult or daunting a challenge. Instead we settle for what we know we can accomplish, which is hardly ever fulfilling, leading us to become consumed with resentment and a jaded outlook on life.
Admittedly it can be hard to discover where our true passion lies. In order to find your passion you must first take responsibility for your own actions, then learn to listen to your heart and experiment; “seek to expand the parameters” of your life. When you have acknowledged responsibility you have no one else left to blame but yourself. This motivates you to achieve more, because the last thing anybody wants is for the blame to fall on them. Don’t leave this life in a state of remorse and regret, lead a life you can leave with pride.
Don’t allow yourself to become trapped by excuses that merely cover up your own lack of responsibility. Go out there and live the best life you possibly can, free of regret; because no one else will do it for you.