Learning to detach starts with simply noticing our own judgmental thoughts. When we find ourselves using words like should or ought, we're courting dirty pain. Obsessing about what should be rather than accepting what is, we may try to control other people in useless, dysfunctional ways. We may impotently rage against nature itself, even—perhaps especially—when that nature is our own.
This amounts to
mental suicide. Resisting what we can't control removes us from reality,
rendering our emotions, circumstances and loved ones inaccessible. The result is
a terrible emptiness, which we usually blame on our failure to get what we want.
Actually, it comes from refusing to accept what we have.
Human beings are remarkably adept at ignoring their own flaws and foibles, even when doing so leaves them miserable. Martha Beck explains why staring down your shortcomings (and learning to accept them) can put you on the path to lasting happiness.
Our December issue features Oprah's Favorite Things—as well as your chance to win them all! You'll also find our easy holiday declutter plan, Dr. Oz's guide to sleeping better (starting tonight) and the ultimate holiday menu.