All of us have felt, at one time or another, trapped in our own life. During these periods of heightened unhappiness, one thing seems clear: the only reason we haven’t realized our great potential is because we’re being held back. There is some unpleasant person, an inescapable condition, some unwanted place in life where we got “stuck.” So, over and over again, we plan our great escape. And over and over again we find ourselves either having gone nowhere or back where we started from, both results being the same. For all of our efforts, nothing really changes. New loves, new jobs, even new homes change only the walls that surround us — not our feelings of being imprisoned. We sense that all we have done is changed cells! We mustn’t fight with or in any way fear this shocking conclusion. Why? Because this temporarily disturbing discovery about our actual condition contains a crucial insight. It was never that person or circumstance that was blocking our moment in the sun. No! In spite of how things may appear to us, we are never trapped by where we are. The trap is always who we are. Here is a short summary of this new and unusual self-discovery:

When you run into a personal obstacle, you have not run into an outer condition that is denying you happiness. You have run into your own present life-level. Your level of being is what determines where you are at any given moment, because your experience is always who you are.

More from Beliefnet and our partners