Leland Clipperton

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Got a Problem?

Have you ever made up a list of things that you consider to be problems in your life? Has anyone ever suggested that you do this?

It's a very good idea.... make your list.

Have you wondered why certain items are on your particular list?????

Okay, now you work on eliminating a few items... let's work on one first!

Inevitably... what happens? If you are actually successful at dealing with an issue (by the way good for you), how long is it before something else seems to creep up the list into your reality?

We must need to live with problems, some quietly, some not. Like they say, "there's always sumpthin"!
How does this system occur and why? Sure we can live, perhaps for awhile believing that all our problems are minimal, but for how long? We encourage problems like they're our job!

When I first met Angie (not her real name) she was in detox... a pursistent life of doing crack and the pursuit of crack had led her there. Through bleery eyes she first offered to take me to the Bahamas... fast forward ten years... at her 5 year clean and sober medallion... I witnessed a miracle in her demeanour and physical health. Yet, I caught myself observing her complaining about her nails not being done the "correct" way; it brought me back 10 years prior listening to her... same voice, same person; complaining about dying, about living on the streets...

All very relative to what is present on our minds at the time.

I first met Alex (not his real name) when his marriage was in deep trouble... near the end. He'd had an affair that neither he nor his wife knew that they could recover from. He was unmotivated, depressed and confused. After working both with his wife and own his own with me for  a couple years they are "happily" (well maybe normally) married; having successfully gone through many of the neccessary hurdles of forgiveness. Yet, when he was promoted to an enviable corporate position, he said quietly to me, "they haven't found out yet"... They" hadn't found out that he really didn't feel deserving of the postion... thought he was still fooling "them" and was hoping he wouldn't get caught.

Our problems are all relative.

Do you remember the MADD commercial... some random guy is driving along, what we see is through the front windshield of his car. After one drink we see the first glass appear in front of the windshield; after the second drink we see another glass appear in front of the first glass; and so on, until the inevitable crash and burn...

Here's my analogy - we have problems occur in our lives, we're not sure of where they come from or why they're there, but we know they're there and we need to deal with them (or perhaps attempt to ignore them). Our focus becomes the resolution or managment of those problems... sometimes for a lifetime. If we are able to "deal" with or minimize a problem enough, there always seems to be another in front of it, another issue to deal with. (by the way if we try to shut one down, it usually comes back bigger and brighter than ever).

What we forgot (and need to remember) is where those glasses (problems) come from!
We put them there, we put our focus on the problem and resolving the problem. The only problem is that we think there's a problem! The more we either try to resolve a problem or alternatively, ignore a problem, all we do is put more focus and energy into that problem.

We need to consider alternatives... alternative approaches, alternative thought patterns... Easy to say, not so easy to accomplish! If we've always been accustomed to thinking a certain way, to dealing with problems, to believing that having and dealing with problems is normal, then why would we expect to just be able to switch. It is not the removal or dealing with the "glasses" that will bring us peace, it is the recognition that the absence of those glasses... the absense of problems... is peace.

Until later,
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