Thinking about a life without problems is an illusion. My personal and clients’ experiences have helped me get this insight.
In life, we may come across some problems that repetitively appear in our lives. We try to fix them, they disappear for a brief period and show their faces again later in life.
I tried to fight with these repetitive problems in my life. I tried to fix them but some of them kept on coming. I also experienced that whenever I found myself on the way, speeding up, towards my goals; something would happen to derail me.
Is it a pattern within me that brings those difficult moments back into my life?
I have now grasped the meaning behind these repetitive painful experiences in my life.
Why is it so?
What are they?
How to deal with them?
How did I deal with them initially
Earlier I worked with my negative feelings and thoughts with cognitive and behavioral therapy approach. The feelings and thoughts which were disempowering, were my Automatic Negative Thoughts and resultant emotional experiences, I believed. I explained to myself that these ANTs and associated feelings are the results of my dysfunctional beliefs and paying them importance is strengthening my negative beliefs. So, I learned to ignore them. I just let them pass through my mind without attaching any judgment to them but acknowledging them as ANTs.
It helped me to some extent. My negative emotional experiences would then neutralize. My panic would disappear. But the deep seated loneliness and insecurity that would sometimes surface in my consciousness continued to engulf me whenever there were some triggers.
Fixing such problems is only delaying, for them to reappear later in our lives. I think these problems have something important for us to learn and grow. Unless we learn the message behind these problems and grow as a ‘soul’, I think they will continue to show their faces to us.
I have never been a religious person. When I was small, like most of us, I did not have an understanding of a difference between religiosity and spirituality. Thinking about metaphysical concepts were not making sense to me. I always looked at science for the answers to my questions related to life and my existence. I would stop thinking when my scientific understanding won’t help me get my questions solved.
I always believed that science could fix and find solutions to all our problems one day. Experiencing or at least believing in the existence of myself beyond this body was considered as a waste of time and efforts exercise.
In working with emotional issues that my clients bring to me, I was obsessively focusing on the scientific evidences for any method to be employed. I ignored my intuitions and inner wisdom to guide me.
From the experiences that I got from my life and by working with my clients, I have grasped this- there are problems in life which cannot be fixed. Yes this is true. We live lives not to fix the problems. We are required to outgrow some of them to learn and reach to a higher level of living. Then they don’t paralyze you.
This realization, when occurred to me, I think, has changed me as a person from within. I do still get trapped by dis-empowering feelings when I face problems that show up repetitively in my life. Of course, now they occur less often and the time I spend in their entrapment is decreasing progressively.
The characteristics of the problems that I have been talking about in this post are:
- They are repetitive
- You can do little to fix them
- The feelings that they trigger inside you are disempowering
- Working on them to solve is not in your complete control when you look at them from only the physical perspective
- They may involve your near and dear ones
I tried all the traditional psychotherapeutic ways to make myself and my clients learnthe skills to deal with these types of problems. I have realized, in the end, that you can not learn to deal with them unless you get the hidden message and purpose of these problems.
Let’s understand what I really mean by these words.
We are here on this planet with some purpose. Many of us are aware about this fact but don’t know the purpose yet. That’s fine. We can consciously look for it but can not analyze our life events to find it out as a conclusion.
Logically analyzing our life events can never let us find the real purpose of our lives.
For some time, I am looking at life and its problems from a new perspective. It’s new for me because I did not believe in it initially although I did have some residue of it inside me.
I can tell you that this new way of looking at life has took me to a new empowering level of living. This level is not free of problem, but I look at the problems as opportunities for me to learn and grow.
Many philosophers and metaphysical teachers have already said what I am telling you right now. That is, we are on this planet for our soul to learn and grow. We will be offered (attracted towards) life events that reflect our patterns of processing the world. We have the options to accept and take responsibility of what is happening in our lives. There is no need to feel blamed but feel the opportunities hidden inside the problems.
We have been conditioned to think of opportunities in the materialistic framework only. We look for outwardly perceivable benefits when we consider any opportunity.
The opportunities hidden in these problems that I have been talking about in this post may not have outwardly perceivable benefits. The benefits and growth happen at the level of soul. The perception is beyond our normal sensory modalities.
When you develop faith in the life processes and their potential to trigger inside us the abilities to look at the world with new perspectives, the problems are viewed as opportunities to gorw.
The experiences are empowering
- You may find a quantum leap in your level of awareness. Suddenly you may find yourself living at a new level of functioning. A new vantage point is formed. That does not make your problems disappear immediately. But of course, the pain that they bring to you will surely decrease.
- After this sudden spike, you may take new initiatives which you may not have taken before. You will buy new books to read or connect with new people. You will stop fighting with the problem, instead learn to release its attachment with you.
- You may find that you are taking a different route that is more resourceful and empowering than what you are currently walking on.
- You will feel lots of courage instilled inside you even though the problems may still exist at the lower level of your consciousness.
- There are chances that you may oscillate between your old and new perspectives. That’s ok. That happens to all.
- Your life changes and gets shaped in a new way when you spend more time in your new level of consciousness that you have gained by facing the repetitive problems of your life.
Of course the new level of consciousness is gained only when we stop our obsessive focus in fixing the problems and start searching for the message and meaning behind them. It is going out of the way of our conditioned living.
When it is done once, the next time the process is easier. The problems that show up repetitively will reduce in frequency. However be prepared for a new level of problems, if you want an another leap in your learning and growth.
Dr. Sudeep Shroff