Life is full of problems…or is it full of opportunities? I suppose it’s all in your perspective. When trouble comes your way do you tend to worry about what you are going to do about it or are you curious about how it will all turn out? I will argue, as always, that the choice is yours…
There will always be problems in life…because at it’s essence, as our friend M. Scott Peck reminds us in his landmark book “The Road Less Traveled“, life is difficult. Once we recognize that this is how life is, we are in a much better position to cope, than if we live in a delusion that life is supposed to be easy. Now, that doesn’t mean that life isn’t easy from time to to time, thank goodness, but there is work involved. The question that remains, however, is “difficult” essentially good or is it bad? Perhaps, my friends, it is neither; perhaps it just is. Perhaps it’s how you deal with the difficulty that matters.
As I noted earlier, we can decide to worry about the rough spots and be ruled by our fears, or we can look at it as an opportunity to learn something, and be ruled by our curiosity and our faith. For those of you out there who are parents, you may know just what I mean. Your child messes up big-time and you have the misfortune, I mean opportunity, of stepping in and providing a consequence for their behavior. Now for most of us, that’s not always a pleasant experience initially. However, ask any parent, and they will tell you, once the limit has been set and the lesson has been learned, it’s an amazing growthful experience for parent and child. The first time you do it, it’s hell. After that, you may get the initial lurching gut, but you know something good will likely happen and a lesson will be learned. That’s how it goes, you know. You step up to face a difficulty straight on, and you have an opportunity to learn from it. You step up to it with fear and uncertainty, it’s likely going to bite you with a large dose of anxiety, stopping you in tracks and preventing you from moving forward. You don’t have to be a parent to know this is true, you just have to be a human who has lived life and learned from it.
So, I ask you again, when faced with a difficulty what choice will you make? Will you stay stuck in worry and fear or will you embrace it as a normal part of life and be curious about what lesson will be learned this time?
As always, the choice is yours…
May you be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.