Several years ago, a friend with 15 years more life experience than me surprised me with her reaction to the troubles I’d been describing. “There are no problems,” she explained, “only experiences that we judge as problems.”
Observing my immediate resistance to this concept, she elaborated, “When you judge something as a problem, you spend unnecessary energy obsessing on its flawed nature. If, instead, you see your life as full of circumstances that either need attention or not, you save yourself the emotional drain and free up space to manifest the change you desire.”
This was new for me. At the time, had she allowed me, I could have given a rather elaborate account of my problems: more kids than I knew what to do with, no time for myself, a difficult marriage, a feisty teenager, a filthy house, a weed-infested garden and not enough money, to name a few. My life felt like one overwhelming problem after another, and I had grown weary of my load. But because I was ripe (desperate) for change, her words were like sweet music.
Half a dozen years into the acceptance (and further exploration) of this concept, I find more truth and profundity in its wisdom than ever. My life is not your ordinary textbook story. It requires an immense amount of intention and focus to keep my center. You can likely say the same about your own.
It is not in the judgment, but in the embrace of our current circumstances that we’re able to handle them from the healthiest state possible. Resistance to what IS is not only a waste of precious energy, but an ineffective tool with which to create change.
What does this mean in practical terms? The following are examples in my own day-to-day that come to mind. I am choosing rather light and surface level “issues” because the point is not to share my dirty laundry but to explore situations we likely have in common.
I love the image and message behind a simple quote by Gautama Siddharta, “When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” My goal is to dwell in this state as much as possible.