The Problem with Problems

The Problem with Problems

Sometimes, problems can be a real problem. (laughs) In fact, so much so that I’ve seen people die over problems and dashed expectations.

But the real problem with problems is perception. The ego has an ingrained habit of making things wrong. When we run into a barrier or things don’t work out the way we want or expect, we see a problem.

Lets start by exploring a saying – if you want to get something done, give it to the busiest person. This is partly because action has momentum. When you put something in a fast moving stream, it goes forward faster. But another aspect is that the busy are people used to getting things done. They are used to making decisions rather than seeing problems.

Of course, there is also the saying that every problem is an opportunity – that’s one way to shift perception.

Difficulties that arise can also be a signal that something needs another approach or that greater energy is required. Keep in mind this flow. If things are static, there is inertia to overcome. If things are moving but in another direction, there is momentum to overcome. Action can sometimes be like changing the direction of a massive boat.

Thus, one should not be discouraged if some further effort is required for success. But pay attention to how it feels more deeply. Is there a need for more energy? Or is this a marker to say no, this is the way the flow is going, please join us. Or are you stubborn enough to want to change the trends of time? (laughs)

Another example is a person stuck. Typically, they’re faced with only a few issues. Maybe even just one. But their own perception and inertia are keeping them stuck, seeing the problem and no solution. This has the effect of magnifying the issue, making it seem bigger and worse. You’ve probably met people completely stuck on something you would consider trivial.

When we hold something as a problem, we see it as difficult. People will use extreme words to express this, like always and never. Can’t or won’t. Must or shouldn’t. Seen however as a challenge, we reframe it as something to work through. We shift it from a wall or barrier into a process or path. We shift from resistance to the way life is.

The key is of course intention and attention. Attention or awareness is the creative source. Intention gives it direction, moves it. When we focus on whats not working, we make not working real. When we focus on moving forward, we make that real instead.

From the energy and emotions we bring to it, we activate the laws of nature in support of that intention. We engage cooperation. But what cooperation are we engaging? The laws of inertia?

If we get mixed results, we may be giving mixed messages, chasing something we don’t really want, are unclear on our intention, or simply have no focus. A surprising number of people drift along unfocused, then complain they’re not getting results.

Another example I see regularly. If we have a fear of technology, when our computer hiccups, we’re unlikely to be able to do anything about it. It’s this annoying mysterious box that makes us feel bad. (well -that’s occasionally true for everyone) We defer the issue to someone else who’s more knowledgeable. But why are they knowledgeable? Lots of geeks are not pros at all. They’ve simply done it. Rather then going into the resistance, they’ve looked into what to do about it. Stepped past the fear. Do that a few times, and they get to know how to get things working. Or to find out how. (Doncha love Google?)

Sometimes we’re put in a position where the problems are not ours but we have to deal with them. A difficult family member or co-worker for example. Just remember – it takes 2 to tango. Try to avoid engaging the problem. Be present with what is true for you and solutions may appear. Worst case, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had a saying – See the Job, do the job, stay out of the misery.

Unfortunately, there’s another aspect to the ego. If someone is invested in a drama, they’re actively inclined to “collect” problems. They actually invite difficulties into their lives. This may be through finances, relationships, behaviour, gossip, even feeding on the news media as a source of things to be upset about.

Some people thus unintentionally live for problems. Their life is so involved in their story that they have to find constant ways to tell it and reinforce it. Without their story, there is just empty fear.

This is not to say we shouldn’t care. But there is a big difference between compassion and self-induced suffering. Between helping and stressing over things you can do nothing about.

So much drama and suffering. Our world is full of it. For what? Why would we choose this? It’s a kind of blindness. The story is self-reinforcing. All for want of an understanding of whats really going on and how we influence our own reality.

It’s rather like a large stage play began but the actors went so deeply into their roles, they forgot they were acting. The play was designed to be fun and entertaining but we’ve made it difficult and painful. We’ve forgotten the world is a stage.

All we have to do is see and our problems begin to end.

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  1. Davidya

    This btw, is the one I mentioned prior in comments that showed up yesterday on a bus. Standing room only and suddenly, a stream of great phrases comes out. I take notes, trying not to fall down. (laughs)

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