What if your problems were serving a higher purpose? What if those uncomfortable, panic-inducing monsters under your bed were the key to unlocking your life’s potential? We strive to overcome our problems, kill the monsters, in fact, we are taught to do that. But what if the problem is just one scene in this production we call life? Ignore the problem, pay a shrink to analyze it, or hire a lawyer to resolve it for you, and you’ve just spilled ink all over your life story. Your deepest fears, the most frightening skeletons in your closet, your worst nightmares are your story and your life path.
What if you understood the fundamental nature of life’s crises and came to terms with yours? What if you stopped evading problems and start welcoming them? What if you found peace inside the space of your problem?
I believe we create our problems to help us discover our life’s purpose. Everyone is seeking their purpose, and trust me you won’t find it by striking a yoga pose, relating to spiritual memes, nor quitting your job to wander the globe. Your purpose isn’t out there, it is within you. It lies buried deep within your shadow self, those darkest aspects of your own persona, that ugly, uncomfortable part of you that you have bottled up inside, secured it with a steel lock, then poured concrete on top just for good measure. That is who you are, only you are afraid to look at it.
Like everyone else on this planet, I have my own share of gut-wrenching problems. Unlike everyone else, I finally accepted that I created them myself, and sat still in that ugly, terrifying mess for months, in order to come to terms with it. It isn’t pleasant, most people wouldn’t be willing to do it, but the answers to why my life sucks, and why these horrible scenarios play out only for me, why life keeps beating me down to the ground over and over again, are right there where I feared to look.
My perspective on my problems and all my suffering shifted almost ten years ago, when through the long period of meditation I began to see. I have yet to start writing about meditating and all the wondrous side-effects and experiences I have had in the last twelve years. However, I began to perceive my reality with senses I never knew I had, and could see well beyond what is, not just on a global scale, but on a personal level. To avoid sounding too spiritual or insane, I won’t name the experience. Those of you who have entered that space on your own journeys will know exactly what I’m looking at and if you haven’t yet, the name of the space if irrelevant.
To be completely honest I am not a religious person, have no religious beliefs whatsoever, and have shielded myself from religions most of my life. All I describe are my own experiences that learned from meditating for twelve years, and ignoring all media associated with the subject. I taught myself, I saw with my own eyes.
Roughly 10 years ago, as I was practicing sitting comfortably and calmly in the white light, I noticed that after a few months I was able to extend that experience throughout the day and night. When I was supposed to be sleeping I remained fully conscious and was able to access those aspects of my mind I couldn’t access before, and came in contact with what I initially described as a fast-moving stream of energetic data. I had never heard of anyone experiencing this before, but over the years I learned to approach it, access it, slow it down to the point where it is audible, visible, perceptible by every sense of my body. I was in awe of whatever this stream of data was, as it seemed to perfectly reflect to me who I am as a being, who I am wanting to be, who I was before, in every possible version of me. What was even more astounding was that this stream had resonance, therefore all those aspects of me I had buried deep inside, suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. There I was in my entirety, totally exposed. And I understood, that all those monsters under my bed and the skeletons in my closet, weren’t there to scare me, they were here to guide me. The reason they hurt so much is because they were screaming at me to pay attention.
Over the years, I have had some amazing revelations about myself inside that data stream of all-knowingness. I have received some powerful information, that is exponentially more poignant than anything I received through claircognisance or clairsentience. The information was highly personal, relating only to my own experience, but suddenly I understood every relationship, every job, every failure, every car crash, every illness, every disappointment. In that space, each and every of my problems looks like just one step on my journey and each trauma was the key to unlocking more of me.
As overwhelming as they seem in my wakeful state, my problems are mere bread-crumbs I left on a trail, to help me discover my path and my life’s purpose. Problems aren’t here to stop us, to block us, nor are we meant to take out a baseball bat and bash them into tiny little pieces. There is a better way to deal with them. Look at the problem from a detached place, as a mere observant, and see or feel the energy of it. It feels awful doesn’t it? For some it feels like physical pressure in the chest, for others like your guts are twisted into knots. But stay there for a minute and don’t be afraid of it. That uncomfortable feeling is just a feeling and nothing else. Get used to feeling it, allow it, let your guard down and expose yourself to it. Notice it can’t do anything to you, nor will it kill you-it just feels uncomfortable. Practice being okay with it the unpleasant energy of it.
As you practice accepting the problem, and being at peace with the horrible energy in your belly, witness the energy start to shift. The more you are okay with the problem, the more okay the energy feels, and the more the energy shifts toward calmness, your guts slowly start to untwist. The problem isn’t how the scenario is playing out in your life, it is in how you physically and emotionally feel about it. The physical manifestation of the pain is what was torturing you. Once you make the physical symptoms go away, you can look at the practical problem more objectively.
Our problems serve a purpose, that higher purpose we have always been looking for. They are meant to get us one step closer to it, so each problem on your path is just something you have to learn about yourself to get to the next level of your existence. If you see a pattern of having the same problems over and over again, the lesson will keep repeating until you learn your place in the problem, how you created it yourself, and what patterns you have to release to finally let the problem go. The problem is just an exercise in your own perception.
Our problems aren’t happening to us randomly, and they are not a universal punishment for sins we committed. You are always on your path, whether you know it or not, you can’t screw anything up, even if you wrap that shiny Benz around a tree and insurance won’t pay. The car wreck is not the problem, how you perceive the situation exhibits your understanding of life, and the more you learn to accept and let go of those things we find absolutely necessary for our survival, the faster we flow toward our higher purpose.
There are days when I wish I never embarked on this journey, but then ask, did I ever have a choice? Life throws us curve-balls so we learn to walk in the opposite direction. We can’t learn anything holding on tightly to comfort and staying in place.
If you are being pummeled by unfortunate circumstances, I would advise you to meditate. I have yet to write a simple manual on how to effectively get into that head space where everything is still. But, my advice is to avoid learning meditation from other people, or reading instructions from a book. You will confuse yourself more, and not meditate. To do the job, you need absolutely nothing: no books, no instructions, no guru, no yoga instructor. No one owns your mind but you, and no one can guide you into yourself. So sit still, straighten your back, close your eyes. Everything that happens from the moment your eyes are closed is your own experience. You might see nothing, so be okay with that. You are doing this to discover yourself and that could take a lifetime. Simply sit as long as you can, to experience your self.
This was my starting point twelve years ago, and I’ve come a long way in learning how to shape my body, my pain, my life experiences from the inside of the control panel of my mind. One of the biggest lessons I learned in there is that what you resist, persists. If you try to resist heartache, and stop it dead in it’s tracks, you will be killing yourself even more. If you try to push your body to stop an anxiety attack, you’ll explode. I used to force my lungs to breathe during an asthma attack- it only made me more dependant on inhalers. But what you embrace dissolves, what you watch disappears.
So, I have a new problem to keep me up at night. I have been watching this energy fester inside me like an energetic tumor. And of course, my first impulse is to bottle it down, pretend it doesn’t exist, ignore it. By the way, ignoring something is simply forcing it to not be there. Force will push back with greater force. So, once again I was making the problem bigger. How can I embrace this problem? I have to accept it, and allow whatever happens to happen. Of course, if there is anything practical I can do I will do it, but when things are beyond our control, we have to accept them. And now I am making my peace with it. I don’t fight the negative energy in my belly, I relax, accept, allow it to linger until it either tells me what to do next or it dissolves.
Our lesson is never in the problem itself, it is in how we handle and feel about the problem. We all react to problems with terror, stress and fear. The stronger that negative feeling, the more tightly you are holding on to a false belief, refusing to let go of something that you should have released a long time ago. I’ve let go of pretty much everything and everyone so far, so what else can I lose? My ego. I’m pretty sure that when there is nothing left to let go of, we have to let go of that old self that doesn’t serve us any longer.
There are other problems I have learned to let breeze past me, because through practice I allowed them to be, then watch them dissolve. Recently I was in a three car pileup, and my favorite thing I own, my car, got crushed. As the airbag exploded in my face, and grey dusty gas filled the cabin to choke me, I started to laugh. I imagined confetti burst out of the airbag, I giggled, and said to myself Okay, it is what it is.
The other driver observed that I am unusually cheerful for someone who just collided with her. The police officers laughed as I offered to pour them cocktails with all the vodka I had stored in my trunk, I even offered hors d’oeuvres I had prepared for a party that night. When the adjustor called the next day, he informed me that the damage could either be minimal or the car could be totaled. I said to him, if the damage is minimal, at least I’ll get a shiny new hood ornament for my car, and if it’s totaled, insurance will buy me a new one. I love how all those car parts that should have been replaced long ago have now been fixed for free. This situation could have been a serious problem, but I learned that in that split second of impending doom, if I embrace it and treat it light-heartedly, it will not feel like much of a problem.
How we survive a life crisis is simply about our reaction to it. What we resist persists. What we fight, will fight harder. What we struggle to contain will explode, and every single thing we try to grab a hold of to not let go, will seek to run away. I fought hard to keep that car for so many years, and the harder I fought the more it turned into a cancer in my life. The car was becoming a bigger and bigger problem. But, the moment I let it go, and became okay with losing it, the universe gave it back shinier than ever.
Embrace your problems, fall in love with them. Each is simply an opportunity to walk in a different direction. Recently a good friend was torturing herself because she had to face her family to tell them that she failed out of med school. They immigrated to this country just because of her schooling, and their entire future was riding on her. Imagine her terror. Then I asked her, how badly did you want to go to med school? She admitted, she had no interest in it at all. The school was sheer torture she endured for the sake of her family, ignoring her other talents. The longer she resisted informing her family, the faster she was inventing horrible scenarios in her head about her family being deported. She was creating more terror in her head and her body every day. Until one day she told them. And they were quite okay with it. Imagine her surprise when her mother admitted not knowing why she pushed herself to study something she didn’t like, when all along she knew her daughter was meant to be in a more creative field.
The faster you embrace a problem, the sooner you learn to change direction. And changing directions is so much easier when you don’t resist the signal. The problem isn’t torturing you, it is your reaction to the problem that is keeping you up at night and eating you alive. You are the reaction, you choose how to react. Just because you find yourself on the savannah with a lion staring at you, doesn’t mean you have to panic and run. You could stay calm, and pet the big kitty on the head. Been there, done that and it was an empowering experience.
Start with a small problem and decide how you will emotionally act toward it before your mind has a chance to overreact. Practice your reactions. Decide that if you ever encounter a lion you will not run, you will scratch the kitty under its neck. Decide if you ever get kicked out of school you will throw a party for yourself. Decide if you ever lose your home, your loved one, your prized possession you will love something or someone else even more.
Your power is in welcoming problems as each an every one of them serves you. The bigger the problem, and the more ease you embrace it with, the more fearless you become. And yes, each of my problems is me, each is shaping my identity, and helping uncover new trails on my life’s path. People wonder if I’m crazy when I crack jokes at funerals, pour cocktails for police officers at the crash scene, and send all my exes nothing but love energy after a breakup. I’ve simply learned to ease the blow by managing my reactions and balancing my energies through stressful times. And each time, I feel much better for it.