alone.jpgI’m fat because I eat.
I eat because I’m alone.
I’m alone because I’m fat.

(Image from

It is easy to critique the follies of others: The circular logic of this postcard seems easy to break to someone who is not caught up in it. From the outside, escape seems relatively simple.

Yet when I am tempted to judge another or attempt to distance myself, I ask myself an “effective question” that forces me to pause, think, and learn.

“What is the lesson here for me?” What am I doing that may be different but also similar?

Oh, the humility that flows from the answers! I still catch myself saying “I am this way because of ‘X’,” and in doing so hand away much of my power to change and the freedom to do new things. Or I find myself saying “Well, I’ll start working out when ‘Y’ happens,” thus needlessly postponing a positive change and giving away the initiative of my life to an outside event. Or one of the “If only so and so would do ‘Z’ then I’d be free to do…,” once again handing away my personal power.

I find it instructive to observe the silly traps others allow themselves to be bound by because it affords me a quick insight into how silly the traps are that I allow to exist in my life. From that awareness I often get the strength, the inspiration, and the motivation to change.

What houses of straw, what silly traps have you allowed to clutter your life? Any you would like to toss onto the junk heap of the long ago past? Anything you’d like to let go of?