Helen Keller wrote: "No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." How right she was.
The reality of life is that life comes with problems. The two are a package deal.
The secret sauce of living with life's problems is changing our perspective. Rather than trying to avoid them, or being in denial about them, we can shed the "victim consciousness" and choose to see what messages about life and living our problems are offering us. A change in perspective often leads to the discovery of an inner strength and courage – an inner power - that support us to persevere and meet life's challenges.
Each and every problem we face leads to an expansion of our consciousness. If we choose, we can allow problems to stretch us – mentally, emotionally and spiritually - to break through the familiar boundaries of our limitations. If we allow, problems serve to make the unconscious, conscious and in the process support us to reveal and heal past hurts and wounding. Renewed faith and trust are by-products of consciously dealing with problems.
If we are "problem-oriented," it's usually impossible to be "solution-focused." When we're locked into a "woe-is-me" world-view, our hands are tied; it's very hard to search for a way through. But that's a choice – whether to be problem-focused or solution-focused.
- Are you generally "problem-oriented" or "solution-oriented?" What would your friends and colleagues say?
- What major problems/challenges are on your plate these days? Are you approaching them self-responsibly?
- Do you consistently think or feel "the grass is always greener on the other side?"
- The way to see problems IS the problem. Do you agree?
- How do you create problems for yourself?
- Are you a blamer? Do you often feel like a victim?
- Do you think hating problems will make them go away? Does it work?
- Have you ever found that what you thought was a problem, wasn't?
- How did you come to see problems as problems?
If you're one who's caught up in the blame-game, always focused on something or someone "out there" for your problems, now is the time to understand that the source of every problem is inside us. Every problem is a mirror reflecting back to us those personal, internal issues we have not faced up to. The truth is when we consciously address our issues, problems release their charge and no longer cause us upset or trouble.
So, there it is. The problem buck stops with us. When we own our stuff and take self-responsibility for how we live our lives, we reduce and eliminate much of the pain and suffering we experience from our problems.
Many folks are waiting for their real lives to begin in some way – once all the obstacles are out of the way.
The conscious, self-responsible, person sees see that such obstacles are, in fact, their life.
So, it's good to remember that all problems are the universe's way to help us move to a higher level of self-awareness. Rather that shun problems, a healthy practice can be to explore how your problems can contribute towards your growth and development. Once you're on the "other side" of a problem, you'll have a deeper understanding and clarity as to why that circumstance, that opportunity, i.e., that problem, was in your life.
Adversity can be a welcome guide and teacher. Life is all about lessons learned.
No problems = no learning. And we came into this life to learn. All of us.