It has been over a week since one of our readers asked me to expand on the idea of “problems”. Today we take a look at how I approach the idea of problems.
Most of the time I have placed quotations around the word “problem” when I have used that word on this blog. This was meant to denote that I was using the term because it was the accepted word but that I did not agree with the accepted definition of that word.
Based on some reader feedback I am going to take today’s post to explain what I mean by the word “problem”. In the future whenever the word is used I will link back to this column to explain the meaning. At this point I think the word is so common that we cannot stop using it, but we can create our own definition.
Situations to be resolved
As I began my spiritual journey many years ago I was very attached to the idea that I had a lot of problems. I kept talking about all my problems. Every time there was discussion of resolving some of the problems I insisted on finding problems with those proposed resolution.
My guide found me very exasperating and to this day I wonder how he had the patience to put up with me. Many times when I talked about my problems he would say “There are no such things as problems only situations that need to be resolved.”
At that time I had hardly any self confidence. I could not imagine that I had the ability to “resolve a situation.” After all, there were so many problems I had to deal with before I could resolve any situations.
It was much easier to look at all the problems and not even imagine that you could do anything about them. After all, they were such big bad problems how could anyone fix them?
And so my thinking went. Around and around in circles – not being able to look at problems because I did not have the self confidence to think I could resolve the situation.
Saying it out loud
I still remember one of the first times that someone said to me “We have a problem” and I responded by parroting the saying about situations that needed to be resolved. I did not have much confidence in what I said, but somehow what I said impressed the person who said “we have a problem.”
Unfortunately at this point I did not have the confidence in myself to follow through and resolve the situation. I did what I usually did and avoided the problem. It would be a few more years until I was able to face my “problems” with any confidence.
I watched myself go through these experiences. Eventually I worked on my understanding and got to the point of realizing that there really was no such thing as a “problem”. For me, the concept of “problem” became just one more reason to avoid looking at my situations. It seems to me that many of us use the word “problem” to denote a situation that we think is beyond our ability to change to our advantage.
I gradually learned to take some of the small “problems” and “fix” them. “Fix” is another word that I try not to use. Rather than say “fix a problem” I try to view it as turning a situation to my advantage. It is a subtle concept and we can discuss it if anyone would like to post a comment.
As I gained experience in turning some of my smaller “problems” into situations that worked for me rather than against me, I also gained self confidence. This self confidence helped me to understand that I could begin to work on some of my larger situations.
I began working on my larger situations and learned that they were usually a bunch of small “problems” rolled up into one larger “problem.” I learned to pull the larger “problem” apart and resolve the smaller situations.
Slowly I learned the self confidence that comes from facing situations that you do not like and turning them into ones that help you. I learned that indeed there is no such thing as a “problem”. We only have situations that we can learn to resolve and then apply that learning to other situations.
Does this mean that I no longer have any “problems”? Yes – I if I have a problem it is because I have chosen to see it as a situation that I cannot resolve. Problems are of my own making.
On the other hand, we will always have situations that need to be resolved. Our learning comes from within these situations. The trick is to remember that we exist to learn and grow. If nothing in our life changed we would not have anything new. If we did not have anything new then there would be no way to learn. Situations present the opportunities to learn.
So we have no problems – just unlimited opportunities to learn from the situations we experience.
Please do your self a favor and stop thinking about your problems. Please start looking at the situations that are presenting you unlimited opportunities for learning.
That is all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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