I live on an island with many dangerous animals. I had an alligator attack me. The ocean has sharks, jellyfish, and stingrays. There's a bobcat in the woods next door. Raccoons scratched my dog. There are foxes, coyotes, many kinds of snakes, and strange toads whose venom can kill you. I won't even mention the bugs. But far more dangerous and threatening than any of these animals are the humans. We humans drive drunk and kill each other with our cars. We rob from each other. We steal each other's loved ones. We treat each other with anger and words that sting like daggers. And who is the most dangerous human? Me. My own character defects, my ego, my inability to deal with the frustrations of the daily little things that go awry. My selfishness, my fear, my self flagellation: these are the things that can consume me, cause the most heartache, and create the most trouble in my life. I used to deal with them by drinking alcohol, isolating and procrastinating. Today I try to live consciously by keeping perspective, being grateful, and staying flexible. I don’t blame the World or myself. I just try to change how I respond to the World.
Today , I will pay attention to how I am responding to life’s challenges. I will not be afraid to ask for guidance when I feel I am struggling with a self-defeating behavior. I will try doing an action which is opposite to a bad feeling. For example, if I am worrying about what might happen to me, I will seek to help someone else. If I am feeling self-pity, I will think a grateful thought. If I am thinking that something has to work out a certain way, I will remember to be flexible. Most importantly, if I am treating myself with contempt, I will remember that I love and care about myself.