In a recent column for Sanford House’s Excursion Magazine, Randy Flood reveals how—with just a bit of self-awareness —we can reduce stress and suffering in our lives. It begins with asking the question “What do I invite into my life only to complain about later?” Randy states, “This is a difficult question to ask because it often invites feelings of shame and guilt for not making the changes in our lives we either know we need to make or that we’ve kept secret from ourselves by remaining in denial.”

Perhaps you’re dealing with financial stress, an unsatisfying job, or unhealthy relationships. Although there may be more reasons than what you’re doing personally (things you can’t control), if you don’t ask the question (How am I inviting this suffering, this problem, this issue into my life?) you aren’t granting yourself the power to change the things you can. That self-awareness can be liberating.

Read the full column “Accepting Responsibility for the Things We Invite In (and Regret Later).”