Have you every noticed that no matter what you do or how positive you are, something always seems to go wrong? It seems like there is one problem after another. We finally get one solved, and another one takes its place. You are having health problems, and when you finally are well, you are facing financial problems. Or you have financial problems and finally get them under control, and you are having a problem with your relationship. Sometimes everything seems to go wrong at once!
As much as we try, we just can’t seem to find a way to live our lives without the constant barrage of problems. We read self-help books, listen to tapes, attend to our spiritual life, think positively, but life keeps presenting one problem after another for us to deal with. What’s going on?
I might as well give you the bad news first. For as long as you are on the planet, your life will continue to be full of problems. Even those who just focus on the positive will continue to have problems. Optimists who assume “It won’t happen to me” often learn, quite painfully, that it does happen to them. They overestimate their ability to accomplish and underestimate their resources and often end up in situations that cause serious problems.
The truth is that no matter what we do, how we think, or how we live our lives, there is no way we can avoid problems. A life without problems is
not an option that is available to you, to me, or to anyone else. The reason for this is that problems are normal and natural. They represent the difference between where you are and where you want to be. Since there will always be a gap between where we are in any situation and where we want to be, our life is about solving problems. When you solve on problem, what’s going to fill in that space? Another problem! I can guarantee you that every time you solve a problem; another one will come along.
Since we can’t avoid problems, the key to happiness and sound mental health is the way we choose to respond to problems as opposed to trying to avoid them. How we perceive where we are and what we have and how we feel about it will determine what happens to us in the future. I am sure you have seen the bumper sticker that says, “Life’s a bitch then you die.” I don’t believe that, but whether it’s true or not, one thing is for sure: What’s important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us.
It is impossible to escape the fact that something will always go wrong. This is part of the ebb and flow of life. It is not so much that something is going wrong, but our interpretation or view of what is happening. Anything that seems to go wrong is something that usually doesn’t fit our cause-and-effect view of order. To assume that something has gone wrong is to assume that something is happening to us, either as an individual or collectively.
For the majority of people, life is often a desperate, frustrating struggle to survive. Talk to most people and they will tell you about their financial problems, job problems, health problems, relationship problems, and the overall bad luck that plagues them. They feel fearful, sincere, and anxious. They are preoccupied with worry. In essence, they are not in control of their lives; their lives seem to be controlling them.
Life is a reflection of our own beliefs and points of view. Our beliefs literally shape our experience. If you think you are unlucky, a loser, things are happening to you, and life is unfair, you will be plagued by misfortune. Is it really bad luck, or are you just living out your beliefs? Perhaps you have had it all backward. You may have been dwelling on how unlucky you are and not realizing that your belief is creating more bad luck. It may appear that we are victims of circumstances, but the truth is that we are the captain of our own ships and creators of our own destinies.
Some people spend half their life in hospitals, while others are healthy. Some people spend their life in poverty, while others have more money than they know what to do with. On the surface, it seems that life is not fair. However, life is always fair because things are the way they are. What is unfair are our expectations of life. If you expect life to be fair based on your expectations of how people or situations are supposed to be, you will end up in the loony bin. (That’s the clinical term for a psychiatric ward.) I can tell you right now: Life will always appear to be unfair.
In our personal lives, more often than not, things will not go as we expect and people will not live up to our expectations of what is fair or not fair. Often, the whole world appears to be chaotic. It will seem like those who should be rewarded are not rewarded, and those who should be punished are not punished. However, in studying quantum physics, we learn that most of what we see, as disorder is actually chaotic order. Apparently random, unpredictable crisis, trauma, and destruction mask a higher order of events. Chaos, the actual process of disorder, is normal and natural.
Maintaining faith in apparent chaotic disorder is a major component in living a positive and productive life. This is not a form of blind faith or positive thinking, but an understanding that all breakthroughs and positive changes come from some form of meaningful chaos or disorder. When things don’t go our way or life seems unfair, it is normal for us to ask three questions: Why me? Why now? What now?
It is normal to ask “Why me?” when things go wrong in our lives. Another variation of the question is “Why her?” or “Why him?” Many times we ask this in regard to a loved one, especially a child. Why does this have to happen to them? Why do they have to suffer so? Even when things go right, we ask, “Why me? Why is all this good stuff happening to me? Why am I having such good luck?” “Why do they have such good luck when they are such jerks?” The answer to the “Why me?” question is simply that nothing is happening to them or us. It is just happening. The problem is that we personalize it, as though it were happening to us.
A good illustration is a natural disaster. If a tornado strikes and your home is destroyed, you have an individual experience, but the tornado is not happening to you, it is just happening. Your experience of living through the destruction is your personalization of the event. Did you die? Obviously not, or you wouldn’t be reading this book. Were you financially ruined forever? Probably not.
The library is filled with books about individuals rising out of despair. The despair caused them to change, and in retrospect they were thankful for their experience. It doesn’t mean they would want to go through it again. It means that they have learned more about
themselves and are stronger and wiser from the experience. The key is not to personalize every challenge or problem in life by assuming something is happening to you. Every time you ask “Why me?” you assume you are a victim of circumstances, people, or conditions. We need to keep reminding ourselves that things don’t happen to us personally, they just happen, and the Why me? Question only limits of the possibility of finding a solution.
“Just when things were getting better.” “Just when I was about to…this had to happen.” “Why now?” Again, it is happening now, not just to us. If you are in a crowd and there is a gunshot and a bullet whizzes by you and misses you, is it happening to you? What about the person who gets shot? What about those who just hear a noise? Each person interprets or personalizes the event according to what happened to them. If a tree falls in the forest and you are not there, it is just falling. You can accept that. The tree is just falling. It is not happening to anyone. If, on the other hand, you happen to walk under the tree while it is falling, you personalize it and say that the tree fell on you. You may ask, “Why me?” or “Why now?”
Fortunately, we cannot choose the time or nature of the traumas and crises in our lives. We can’t tell the universe what to do; we can only be part of the events that unfold. The concept of time is irrelevant. Whenever anything happens to us, it is the perfect time for it to happen because it is happening. Our own personalized version of what we call the “right” or “wrong” time for it to happen is futile and irrelevant.
If you could schedule when a crisis or trauma was going to happen in your life, exactly what time would you select for damage to your marriage, relationship, child, career, home financial security, or health?
When is a good time for bad things to happen? The answer is obvious. There is no good time. As difficult as it is to accept, these things will happen, no matter how we feel about them and no matter how assiduously we try to avoid them.
Our first reaction in a time of crisis is to try to do something – anything – to make it go away. We live in a culture that places an emphasis on immediate solutions to every problem. When something goes wrong in our lives, we feel the need to resolve our immediate situation by doing something. However, it is this very intensity and urgency to solve our problems that causes us to overlook permanent and lasting solutions.
Before we can resolve any problem, crisis, chaos, or trauma, we must learn from out experience so that we don’t repeat it again. We must always keep in mind that the lesson is more important than the solution. If we just focus on an immediate solution, we will not learn the lesson and more than likely will encounter the same situation again some time in the future.
The “What do I do now?” question comes from our desire to put all the pieces of the puzzle together quickly without having any idea of what the entire puzzle looks like. Keep in mind that the picture of the puzzle is on the box so that you can see the end result before you begin sorting and putting together the pieces of the puzzle. In life, we also have to be able to see the end result (a permanent and lasting solution) before we can put the pieces together.
The study of quantum physics reveals to us that things do not just happen to us – they simply are. Everything that occurs in our lives is a series of events waiting for us to give them meaning by our perceptions. When we witness apparent chaos or destruction, are we viewing a universe, nation, or world out of control, or is infinite order being revealed to us through a temporary disruption? The important key is to understand that we cannot stop or redirect the flow of the universe or the way things are or what will happen. What we can do is observe what it is doing to us and how it effects change in our lives.
What about sickness? Is AIDS a punishment from God for our promiscuous behavior? Do we create sickness as some fields of psychology and metaphysics suggest? Or is sickness just a temporary physiological disruption of energy? What role does our genetic dice play in all this?
We must learn to see illness, destruction, trauma, and chaos not as a punishment from God or a predictor of doom, but as a temporary developmental adjustment. Most of all, we must learn to observe how we let it affect us and how we can change its effect upon us. There can be no healing without developmental adjustments.
Our impossible situations are influenced more by what we think than the way things are. Our perception of reality, which can be defined as what is, influences our behavior more than reality itself. Therefore, it’s not the way things are that is the problem, but the way we think they are. Just because we think something is so, does not mean that it is actually true. Perception forms everything in our life.
The problem with perception is that it not only influences the way things were and the way things are, but the way things will be in the future. It keeps us stuck because we spend so much time defending our perception. Our defense often borders on a pathological need to defend our position. When we do this, we are unable to consider other options. Most of our energy is used up preparing our defense or rebuttal as to why things are as they are, and why we can’t change. A worst-case scenario of this situation is if we have a life partner who has the same perception. Now we have two people with a common goal based on the wrong perceptions.
Our perception of reality is formed from three sources: awareness, deletion, and distortion. Awareness is what we have been exposed to or programmed with from our outer and inner world. Deletions are those parts of reality that we have ignored or not experienced. It’s like being tuned into a certain radio frequently and deleting all other frequencies. It doesn’t mean that those frequencies do not exist, it just means we are not aware of them. Distortion is the filter through which we see reality.
These are the assumptions that we make about things such as life, God, and what others are like. Our decisions and actions are based on these assumptions, which are often distorted through our filter of deletions (not having enough information). Distortions and deletions in turn influence our awareness of reality.
Moving from the impossible to the possible requires that we modify our awareness. We can do this through conscious choice, or it may be forced upon us as the result of events in our lives. We tend to look at things differently after a divorce, death, losing our money, failing a test, or losing our job or business. This gets our attention and alters our
awareness. Whether we like it or not, these events are self-correcting and cause us to change our thinking and behavior.
What we are striving for is conscious awareness through choice. This is a conscious commitment to change our impossible situations to possible opportunities. Our goal in life should be to convert what we know into positive results. In order to achieve positive results we need to weigh up our decisions to see if they serve others and us in a positive way. This is accomplished through awareness and self-correction.
Since problems or seemingly impossible situations are inevitable, why not learn to welcome them instead of resisting them? They are wake-up calls for creativity. If we could welcome problems as they arise, seek the lesson early on, and make the necessary changes or adjustments, we would experience less pain. The key to overcoming problems is our perception of the problem. Is it really such a bad problem, or do we make it worse in our minds? If the problem is very serious, can we handle it with strength like a master of life, or do we spend most of our energy trying to fight, ignore, or resist it?
As each opportunity or situation comes your way, remember that you have a choice to act on it in the best way you can. Another one will follow every situation that you handle. No matter how difficult things are, there is always the other side or complementary opposite. This is what we must look for, without denying where we are right now. We must accept our current reality and make the best of it.
PROBLEMS CAN SHIFT OUR COURSE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Problems often appear to be impossible situations. They signify our need to change something – usually ourselves. The problem is not what is important; it’s what we do about it that makes all the difference.
Problems can motivate us to change and ultimately make things work better for others and ourselves. Some eastern philosophers, saints, and sages even see problems as life’s gifts. Ancient sages say that the more problems we have, the more opportunities we have to raise our consciousness to that of a more highly developed person. After all, what you get by reaching your destination is not as important as what you become by reaching your destination. By any standards, our purpose on earth is to develop ourselves to the best of our abilities. Therefore, every problem or stumbling block that comes our way is a chance to change for the better.
Our reality is created from our own observations. As unbelievable as it may seem, we see what we look for, and create what we see. A psychologist using an ink blot test will ask patients what they see when they look at the inkblot. One patient may see a butterfly, while another may see the face of the devil. A hungry person looking at a picture of a bowl of fruit will see it as a source of food; an artist may see it as a potential subject for a painting. What this teaches us is that we create our own reality by our own unique point of view.
Researchers know that what they discover is influenced by what they are looking for and who is doing the looking. Repeated and double blind experiments, in which researchers are unaware of what is being studied,
are often used to control the influence of the observer creating the results of the experiment. Extending this idea into daily life, what we see actually creates what we experience as individuals, couples, families, communities, states, nations, and the world.
Why do we tend to see the glass as half empty, rather than the glass being half full? When we get into negative thinking, we often see only the problems we face instead of looking for the good we can find. The question to ask ourselves is “How often does this happen to me?” How can we minimize our negative thoughts? When we introspect and self- observe, we can notice more intently how we respond to different situations. Then we can create a change in our thinking by realizing what our mind is doing and by choosing to look for the solutions to our problems, or even find golden opportunities within our problems
One of the things that scare most people is living in uncertainty. Yet, you cannot identify one aspect of your life that is totally certain. Even when you will die, or what may follow, is uncertain. At best, it remains a matter of speculation.
Unfortunately, most people would rather be certain of something that is uncertain. They would rather accept a point of view that they have never verified for themselves than live with uncertainty. This is the foundation of all religions.
Religion satisfies our need for certainty. Regardless of the teachings of any religion, none can offer proof that what it teaches is the truth. The only proof is in the sacred books, writings, and revelations given
exclusively to each religion by God. And, of course, each one is different. What religious teachers ask of their followers is to substitute lack of proof with faith. The problem is that we see what we look for and believe what we find.
The Wayfare Institute is comprised of some of the finest biblical scholars from several universities and theological schools. Over a twelve year period, these scholars studied the Bible from a secular point of view. The project was called the “Jesus Seminar”. This group decided to approach the Bible from a strictly historical point of view. The goal, unlike that in traditional theology, is not to prove that everything in the Bible is true, but to set aside only those teachings that could be historically verified. The discoveries were quite interesting.
The scholars found that only twenty percent of what is written in the New Testament can be verified as the actual teachings of Jesus. That includes most of what Jesus was supposed to have said. This could blow the lid off the fundamental theory that everything written in the Bible is the exact word of God. However, those who have a need for certainty will be the most threatened by the conclusions of this study, because it attacks the very foundation of their beliefs.
Challenging our beliefs is always healthy, because it brings us to a new level of awareness. If we think we know, we don’t. Only when we are willing to admit that there is a possibility that we don’t know, can we grow and learn more of the truth. This comes through living in uncertainty.
COMPLEMENTARY OPPOSITES – LOOKING AT THE WHOLE
There are complementary sides to every aspect of our existence. The concept of complementary opposites teaches us that there is an
opposite side to everything. Up and down, good and bad, front and back, positive and negative are all connected. We tend to see things as disjointed; yet our reality is composed of parts of a greater picture. Unfortunately, we tend to believe that the part we see is the whole. Our intellectual and emotional conditioning, which includes compartmentalization of reality, prevents us from seeing the whole picture. Most perceptions are divorced from the total context.
Imagery, meditation, mind over matter, and positive thinking all have their place, but permanent and lasting change comes from changing our perception. We must allow for discomfort and then realize that it can be changed, if we will make changes in our perception. Often we have to have greater discomfort or pain from our current situation before we are willing to make the change. Simply put, when it becomes more difficult to suffer than change, you will change.
CHANGE ON A DIME, GAIN NINE
Remember the phrase, “A stitch in time saves nine?” How about, “Change in time, makes things fine?” Why not change sooner, before the difficulty intensifies? Obviously, we would spare ourselves from an unnecessary extension of pain if we would change sooner rather than later. If we become paralyzed and afraid to make a move because we fear that another problem will come along, we remain stuck in our fears. Of course, there will be more problems. That’s the way life goes. If we maintain a positive frame of mind, we are more likely to fill the new space with positive experiences. This is especially so if we have learned from our past mistakes.
If we have not learned from the past experience, we will recreate a similar experience until we get the message. Life is a persistent teacher. It will keep repeating lessons until we learn.
GOING BEYOND POSITIVE THINKING
When illness, crisis, or trauma enters our lives, we are told to adopt a positive attitude. Although this may seem logical on the surface, we must also allow ourselves to feel depressed, helpless, and angry. These are important feelings, just as are happiness and joy. The principle of complementary opposites teaches us that there is an opposite aspect to everything. Up and down, happy and sad, and hope and despair are all important aspects of a healthy personality.
The individual who is always positive often uses it as a way to cover up unpleasant feelings such as anger, sadness, worry, and depression. This person is just as psychologically unbalanced as the person who overindulges in these negative feelings is. Real life is about feeling the ups and downs and knowing that there is something good and positive to be found during our feelings of sadness or disappointment. How else can we contemplate different ways to look at situations and then make positive changes and improvements?
Although it may be a bit uncomfortable to clearly review something unfavorable that has happened in our lives, some of the best decisions we ever make are realized in times of crisis. We need to acknowledge such feelings and let them happen in order to work through them. Allowing, instead of resisting, is what lifts us to new heights.
Some people overdo their positive outlook to the point of being unrealistic and are in danger of overlooking important pitfalls to avoid. Balancing between these complementary opposites is like a dance, and the dance becomes easy when we understand what we can do with the insight we gain from the dance.
Without such insight, we fail to see clearly where we are and where we want to go. If we don’t know where we are, we surely cannot sail our ship in the right direction.
What do you think happens over your lifetime if you don’t correct your false beliefs? Over time, how far off course do you think that might take you? Look at your life right now. Are you on course? Imagine what it is going to be like in the next five or ten years. How satisfying will it be then if your life isn’t the way you want it because you didn’t make the necessary corrections?
We resist for a variety of reasons, which include deep-seated negative psychological programming by those who influences us in our childhood, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being judged by others, having a fixed or rigid perspective, or experiencing discomfort when we change a habit.
We know we should change, but we tend to resist change with every fiber of our being. Whatever we resist persists and often intensifies, so why do we resist? Even as you read this chapter, you are probably experiencing resistance at some level. Your mind may be telling you that what you are reading is true, but it doesn’t apply to you, because in your case, it’s different. I’m sorry, my friend, but it’s the same for all of us. The harder you resist, the harder it is to break through the impossible to the possible. In effect, we become our own worst enemies. It’s like shooting ourselves in the foot each time we tell ourselves that something is impossible.
We all have our own behavioral comfort zones. There is a part of us that wants to change and move to the edge of the circle, and there is a part
of us that wants to stay in the middle, isolated from change. Think about anything you have done. Part of you wanted to do it, and part of you fought change. The problem with staying in the middle is that we continue to do more of what we have been doing in order to maintain the status quo. The more we tend to stay in the middle of the circle, the more we close off our options.
Some of us hold on tightly, even fiercely, to our foundation of beliefs, fearing that to change our views would destroy our foundation. Our minds are not like pyramids, where if you take a piece out from the bottom, all the rest will tumble down. Yes, we should hold onto our thoughts and robustly convey them in a debatable situation, but we must also change on a dime when someone gives us a new piece of information or a new concept that warrants a change in our view. This is the greatest strength of character.
Life can bring us some small pebbles to deal with, or life’s ebbs and flows can bring us a bowling ball that surely will make that pyramid and tumble down. Doesn’t it seem like these bowling balls or giant boulders come rolling into our lives when we have some kind of great lesson to learn? Usually we figure this out after the unsettling experience has forced us to reach new heights, to break through our set ways. Perhaps life brings us more bowling balls when we build stockades around us in our attempts to have certainty and security.
Fear of the unknown can get in the way of our greatest life experiences or hinder the greatest results we can achieve. If we hold on to our foundation of knowledge with so much scrutiny that little can reach us, we are limited by our conscious mind. We hear so often that scientific experts say that we do not use all of our brains. To reach farther within our minds, we need to go beyond what we know or what we think we know. Our conscious mind knows what we know, such as how to cook
or change a tire on our car, but the subconscious mind knows so much more. It knows all that we have ever heard or seen, although we think we do not remember these things. Everything we have ever heard of seen can be remembered. We just need to reach it through techniques, such as using mental exercises, relaxation techniques, or physical exercise.
Our conscious mind knows what we know and it is aware of those things we don’t know (such as, I don’t know how to write a computer program). We tend to think we do not know things that are merely buried in our subconscious minds somewhere because we cannot seem to retrieve them at the moment. Actually, we are capable of retrieving any information within our minds. Sometimes we may think a thought is an original one, when it actually may have entered our minds from some other source at some other time.
When we come up with truly original ideas, the genius in us comes to the fore. We are tapping universal knowledge, where Einstein grasped his brilliant ideas. This occurs within the Superconscious mind. Our Superconscious mind is our power center, and it knows the perfect way for us, a realm of absolute ideas that cannot be wrong. This Source, which we can contact at will, always gives us the information we need to lead us out of barren places into more productive fields. William James called this transcendental power the Superconscious mind. Emerson referred to it as the Universal mind. Whatever you call it, just know that it does exist and, because it always knows the perfect way for you, that you can tap its unlimited potential to receive the creative ideas you need to solve your problems.
HOW TO REMAIN OPEN TO IDEAS
When it comes to knowing and not knowing, wouldn’t it be best for us to quickly admit that we don’t know something and then seek ideas that are deep within our minds or that come from great inspiration?
We can always increase our listening ability. This allows us to grasp more available intelligence. Listening to ourselves, listening to all the wonderful minds of others, and listening by observation gives us unlimited resources.
Do you build mental roads by which you can meet and share yourself with other people, or do you erect mental walls that separate you from others? These walls can never stand against time and change, but if you build roads that join you to other people, you can travel endlessly through time. You can change the direction of your course and make your resources virtually unlimited. These roads can be lifelines, like arteries to the hearts, minds, and souls of others with all their wisdom becoming yours as well. You will be empowered with this kind of strength, rather than be a stone wall that is actually superficial and is easily broken down.
You can resist change by saying, “I can’t help it. That’s just the way I am!” The truth is, whatever is happening in your life right now is not determined by the way you are but by the way you have chosen to be.
Rest assured life’s problems and challenges will confront you. You can perceive your problems as breaking you down, or you can perceive the experiences as challenges that are building you up and carrying you away in a much better direction in the long run.
IS SOMETHING REALLY GOING WRONG, OR IS IT REALLY GOING RIGHT?
Life is filled with uncertainty, but we must trust that there is truly some kind of Divine order that is right for us. Usually, something that is going wrong is really going to make things go right in the long run. We often can’t see the forest for the trees until we have walked all the way through it.
Under most circumstances, we are not able to see what lies ahead. Looking back, we can see how impossible situations that seemed to be going wrong actually worked to our benefit. Very few of us have the ability to accurately look into the future. None of us knows for sure what the future may bring. But we must know that whatever happens, there is always a reason and a solution. The reason may or may not be apparent, but the solution is available if we trust that we have the inner power to handle any situation.
Each failure brings you closer to success. If you allow failure and rejection to run your life, you will severely limit your possibilities. Keep in mind that you have an equal chance to succeed in anything if you will just give it a chance. You have nothing to lose until you give up.
RESPONSE TO PROBLEMS – POSSIBILITY VS. IMPOSSIBILITY
Each time we are faced with a problem, we have two choices. We can perceive the problem as a threat and fear it or we can perceive the problem as an opportunity to meet a challenge. We can go into distress, or we can feel a positive level of stress – the kind of tension that gives us just the right amount adrenaline to feel the thrill of overcoming the problem. However, we block this rush of positive adrenaline when we block the positive energy-boosting emotions. Our western culture
encourages us to not feel emotions, but to be logical. Using only logical, linear, left-brain thinking eliminates our dynamic sense of challenge, adventure, empowerment, and victory. Some people are so logical that they don’t even enjoy a victorious outcome, no matter which road they took to get there.
If we are consumed with self-doubt, fear, or anger by perceiving problems as threats to our survival, we are just allowing ourselves to be engulfed with the feeling that we have no control and that things are happening to us. As soon as we are faced with trouble, we should evaluate our attitudes and perception, looking to see if we are feeling like a victim, and immediately turn around the problem by looking for possibilities and viewing them as opportunities and challenges.
LETTING GO OF WHAT DOESN’T WORK
One of the most difficult obstacles we face in changing the impossible to the possible is letting go of what doesn’t work. We tend to remain in jobs and careers we dislike, we don’t deal with unresolved conflict, we don’t love as passionately as we want, we replay negative experiences in our mind, we practice unhealthy physical patterns, we remain bored or scared, and we are afraid to change. On top of all this, we reinforce our impossible situations by telling our troubles to anyone who will listen.
Even through our past behaviors are causing pain, we keep doing the same thing over and over again. This is a form of mental illness. One of the characteristics of mentally ill people is that they repeatedly do the same thing but expect different results. Said another way, if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting. Instead of changing, we manifest the immobilization behaviors of inaction: we promise to change in the future, but we
continue to repeat strategies that don’t work. This only limits our ability to make the impossible possible.
Our willingness or inability to change is rooted in our decision that something out there is preventing us. To justify our position, we form a victim mentality that essentially says that what is happening to us is not our fault. If “they” (parents, family, boss, mate or government) were not standing in our way, we could have what we want. This victim mentality of blaming, criticizing, rationalizing, justifying, explaining, avoiding, and attempting to change external forces keeps us trapped in impossible life situations. As we empower these outside forces, our options become fewer. In turn, this self-limiting process prevents us from using our creative resources to work through our self-created obstacles. As long as we blame others, we remain ignorant about our contribution to the problem or what we can do to change it. Blame always involves giving up power.
LEARNING THE LESSON, THROWING AWAY THE EXPERIENCE
Most of the impossible situations we experience are a product of our past choices, not our circumstances. The sum total of our life is linked to the choices we have made. As stated earlier, things don’t just happen to us. However, not all of our choices are made out of conscious awareness. Many times we are just operating out of false beliefs and values.
It is amazing that we can survive all this, since some of the consequences can throw our life into chaos or even be dangerous. For many people, life is not a matter of living; it is just a matter of surviving the consequences of their choices. The downside is that, if we survive the consequences of our choices, we are less likely to change. Instead
we accept the consequences of our poor choices while living life in the survival mode. Success, happiness and inner joy, however, cannot be experienced if we are living in the survival mode.
Every choice we make either moves us closer of farther away from where we want to be. All progress in life, whether individually or collectively, comes through the power of choice. We can either choose to stay in the past or move into the future. Most of the time, the solution is within us, but we just don’t act on it. The law of inertia comes into play. It is more difficult to get a standing object moving than one that has a little momentum.
Finding yourself in impossible situations can be turned into a positive experience. Consider it a breakthrough opportunity or a wake-up call that will enable you to move from where you are to where you want to be. We must begin by replacing the thought pattern of, “That’s the way it is meant to be,” or “That’s the way I am,” with “Up until now, that’s the way I was,” or “Up until now, that the way it was.”
When we go through difficult times and finally resolve our problem, we need to keep the lesson, but throw away the experience. In other words, focus on what you learned from solving your problem rather than what happened to you. Instead of playing over and over what they did, what they said, how they did it to you, or how life was unfair, focus on the solution and how you can avoid this type of situation again. Realize that you are now much wiser and more capable of handling similar problems if they should arise.
By taking the initiative to change our destiny, we break the cycle of repeating our past experiences over and over again. The moment we determine we are the cause and not the effect, we gain power to control
our destiny. If we don’t, history will just keep repeating itself until we get the lesson.
MIRACLES – FACT OR MYTH?
Are there such things as miracles? What are miracles, anyway? Let’s go back to the, Why me? Why now?, What now? scenario. Picture two parents in a hospital emergency room. Both have a child who may die at any moment from a serious illness. Both pray to God, asking him to spare their child. One child lives and the other dies. The question we must ask is, did God allow one to live and the other to die, or is that just the way it is?
As always, we have a choice in our perception. Whenever we don’t understand something, we call it a miracle. And, of course, miracles are always positive. When something goes wrong, it is never a miracle; instead, we call it fate or bad luck. Keep in mind that at one time in our history; it would have been a miracle to see an airplane in the sky because no one knew about aerodynamics. Many of the things we take for granted today would have been amazing miracles during the life span of Jesus. The unexplained is often viewed as a miracle until we know the principle behind it.
Miracles are not God breaking his rules. Miracles are evidence of our conscious or unconscious acceptance of what is happening at the moment based on a principal or universal law of which we have no knowledge. The more we learn about the way things are, the more we realize that there are no miracles, only perfect order where everything is happening to the right person at the right time in the right way, based on our level of awareness as individuals, countries, and nations.
No matter what we are facing, we must realize that the problem or apparent bad luck is only a temporary situation. Once we have the answer to our problem and act on it, we can change it from a negative experience to a positive one. It is at that moment that so-called miracles will occur.