It is intriguing how we have this idea that one day we are actually going to be problem free, as if that’s the goal. Get everything dialed: more money, right partner, great health, everyone showing up exactly how we’d like them to – all the time – and then we can just coast on through without a care.
Built into this illusion is the notion that problems are wrong, should not be in our lives, and are the reason for our anxiety, anger, frustration, depression – whatever. But the truth is, life is an ongoing series of predicaments. It’s kind of the point.
Step Fully Into Your Life
We aren’t here to lie on the beach drinking margaritas 24-7. We’re here to seek, to stretch, to grow, to become more – and to share our acquired wisdom so that we all benefit. And problems are the number one way to achieve this end. Problems ask us to be creative, to look deeply, to ask meaningful questions that might not otherwise occur to us. to find our center, to get clear about what’s truly important. They push us toward our very best selves if we embrace and utilize them instead of freaking out and insisting they should not be happening.
So Why Not Have Fun With Them?
Having fun with your problems might seem illogical, but is it really when you consider the alternative? However upset I might be, however hard I may be resisting ‘what is” (which, for the record, is futile) – when I imagine Jack Sparrow’s lilting voice offering up these words of wisdom, it is impossible not to smile. And that’s a great way in. As soon as I bring in humour, everything opens up, my resistance loosens its grip, and I feel spacious enough to consider more empowering perspectives.
Get Clear On Who’s in Charge
Here’s a way to play with your problems. For the next week, whenever you notice yourself caught up in resistance (you can tell by the fact that negative thoughts are running the show) – make a choice to shift your attitude. Repeat Jack’s words (out loud is most awesome), and notice how your thoughts and feelings are influenced when you stop resisting and just observe your resistance. Then ask yourself, “Hmmm, what’s another perspective?”
Start with the small stuff, you should find several things to work with in no time at all. The big, life changing, overwhelming problems require an even higher level of presence, but if you’re feeling bold, dive on in. Once you become skillful at this game, problems transform into opportunities to align with your most wise and authentic self.
Good to ponder:
“Life is full of ups and downs. Character is measured by the grace with which we handle the downs.” – Unknown