Too frequently it seems our lives are under the power of things outside of us and beyond our ability to deal with: we feel like we are prisoners in one way or another of an unfair social system, impossible work conditions, an unforgiving past, or a failed relationship. Even trying to assemble a build-it-yourself bookshelf that doesn't know it "goes together with ease" can lock us away in the house of pain.
Whatever the antagonist, our response is pretty standard: we resist, struggling to get out from under what we see as standing over us. However, the fact of the matter is things are not as they seem. No event of itself has power; it is we who unconsciously color the moments of our lives with the unhappy quality of character that we then turn around and lament for being there. Let's examine this important idea, so that we can begin liberating ourselves from what amounts to an unseen act of self-limitation.
Our experience of any passing event -- for the pain or pleasure of it -- is the product of how we see it. This principle is a timeless spiritual truth: the inner determines the outer, which simply means that our experience of life is one and the same with how we perceive it. So, as astonishing as it may seem at first, it's true: The only power any unwanted moment holds over us is the power we give to it. Think what this means, beginning with this vital idea that points directly to the possibility of never again having to feel like a victim.
Negative states are not mandatory; believe it or not, they are voluntary! Proving this to ourselves is the first step in walking out of the psychological prison created by our current misperception of reality.