The Charlie Brown story I have heard is where Lucy is holding the ball egging Charlie to run up and kick it. He has learned from experience she will take the ball away just as he gets to the ball. So he is saying no to her.

She promises this time she will not take the ball away.

Charlie believes her once again because he loves to kick the ball. It makes him happy.

But…just as he gets to the ball, Lucy pulls it away one more time.

Wham! Charlie falls on his butt.

How many times do we have to learn  a lesson before we change our behavior?

Ten thousand times and we continue to act in ways we say we do not want to act.

Eating, drinking or partying or whatever the strong urge in our life is at the  moment. We are tempted again and again by its soft voice to follow the urge rather than take what looks like the more difficult road of not following the old way.

We say we want to change yet I hear people talking about having happiness… when.

When what?

When we retire?

When we get to the front office?

When our kids grow up?

The outward focus on our happiness keeps us away from looking inside where the home of happiness lives.

I know I act this way more often than I would like.

I am not perfect, so forgiveness is always available to do better the next time.

I want to live my life with acute awareness so I can experience all of my life.

The ups and the downs all provide the chance to live a better life if I can see from the inside out.

There are a couple of ideas I have been using which may help you too.

The first one is COMPASSION. We need to be gentle, understanding and open with ourselves to allow for missed opportunities to act the way we say we want to act.

If we judge and beat up on ourselves it is hard to make progress.

The second idea is LOVE. It is easy to say love yourself. It is something else to put it into practice.

However, each one of us is beautiful, unique and wise. It is a good idea, I think, to acknowledge what we are doing and bring a feeling of love to who we are.

I have found meditation to be an excellent way to do this. I slow down, be quiet and allow a few minutes to just love who I am in this moment. The more you practice the more you become aware of the essence of love that you are.

This is who you are.