What is the definition of a problem? One definition could be: “an unresolved challenge requiring a solution.” However, I will use a definition more closely resembling what most people mean when referring to their problems: “any situation or event not in line with what one desires.” Hence, a problem is totally relative. So where does a problem actually live? Does it exist in the real world independent of you, or is it only a problem when you come into the picture? Let’s take you (your ego or identification with the happenings of the world) out of the equation for a moment and take an overview of what occurred or is occurring. Is the circumstance still a problem? If so, to whom is it a problem? Could it be perceived differently? Is there an opportunity in there for someone? Could it even be positive for others? Putting yourself back into the picture again, could there be any positive for you?
The next time you complain or dwell in your “problems,” take some time to consider the above questions. Perhaps then you might get clear that it’s not actually a problem, but rather only a problem for you. In other words, the only place the “problem” exists is in your head! (And by your head, we mean your ego--the part inside you that identifies the self as a separate entity and thus functions to protect and serve the self’s well being.) The circumstances may be real, but the way you carry it, perceive it, react to it—all of it is in your head and so it’s all a choice. You could, for a moment, force yourself to stop complaining or blaming or feeling guilty or depressed and just consider what positive can come of all this, for you and for others. You may even consider feeling gratitude for the lessons and opportunities received, even though they may be difficult.
Sure, this is easier said than done. And sure, some situations are harder to stop thinking of as problems than others. But truly the world is what you make of it. All judgments, including “problems,” exist in heads and not independent of us. When we take all egos out of the picture, the situation just is—it’s not good or bad, hard or easy, problem or opportunity. But of course, we have egos, and those tricky, useful, protective parts of our psyches are just about impossible to transcend completely. So you have to work the system and change it from within. In other words, you must make a choice. Do you want to live in a world of problems or of opportunities? The more aware and dedicated you are to the pursuit of opportunities and the discarding of problems, the more often you can catch your ego when it starts spinning into judgment mode. Realize that, in reality, YOU are creating the problem by holding it as such in your head (no matter what has been done by you or others to this point); and instead, choose to create an opportunity.
One who chooses to live in opportunity and gratitude, rather than existing in problem, will have a much better time at this thing we call life.
AFFIRMATION OF THE WEEK
This is all a learning experience.
This is all an opportunity for growth.
I am so grateful for every opportunity I am given.