Embracing obstacles

There’s a lot of tough stuff out there these days for us to cope with. Our immediate response is often to get stressed, anxious, upset, nervous, or fearful about our ability to handle the situation. We look at the problem in front of us as an obstacle on our path of happiness and well being. We want to push it out of the way or “drop kick it” as one of my good friends suggested. In so doing we engage in a struggle with the problem, and soon, before realizing it becomes more about the struggle and less about the original problem. What happens if instead of struggling against the problem we embrace it, accept it, and work with it? Don’t mistake me to say that I think we should be happy about the problem (ironically, that may come later, but rarely at the outset). All I’m suggesting is that we sit down with it calmly, accept that it is what is on our plate to deal with and figure out how to cope with it. Now of course, most of us do end up at this point sooner or later, but what happens if we cut to the chase and try this out as soon as we recognize we have a problem? How much depression, anxiety, upset and health hazards could we avoid if we allow ourselves to accept what is and tell ourselves that no matter how scared we are in the moment, we can handle it, whatever “it” might be, even if we are not sure how at the moment. The truth is, the longer we insist on engaging in the struggle, the more likely we are over time to feel the psychological and physical impact of this. When we say, “I don’t want this. I won’t accept this,” does it make the problem go away or does it make it the struggle against it grow even bigger? Think about this. If you let go of the struggle you will actually clear the path for your answer to come to you. However, if you persist in engaging in the struggle, you will likely be so distracted by the struggle, the answer may be missed.

My son just reminded me of yet another perspective, while working on his science project that is due next week. Putting off coping with your problems makes a big mess of things too. Because while you are ignoring the problem it is growing bigger. My challenge to you is to imagine yourself embracing the problems before you now. Remind yourself that you are strong and capable and that you can call on the support of friends, family and a power in the universe that is greater than yourself to walk through the challenges ahead. Simply put, which makes you feel better to say? “I hate this, it’s too much.” or “This is overwhelming, but it’s what I gotta do, I can figure it out in time.” Push it away, or let it be, you decide which path will serve you best.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ha, ha, as always, very wise and wonderful thoughts ans words, Dr. Sari! I thought "drop kicking" a problem WAS dealing with it right away! Problem is, problems are usually too big to methaphorically "pick up" that readily and just get rid of. So you are correct in advising to deal with things head-on in a calm, organized fashion. I miss you and can't wait to spend some time with you this week! I am sure I can continue to provide you with "fodder" for your columns with my crazy mixed up life! Love you! Julie

  2. Thank you, Julie. You are one of the wisest and bravest women I know. You don't provide me with "fodder", you make me think, my dear friend. Thank you for that. I'm looking forward to our time together too. Big hugs…

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