“Problems generally get smaller if you turn to face them, rather than running away.”
How often do we end up running away from our problems, expecting that to fix everything?
It doesn’t have to be a physical moving away from something. More often you spot it as an avoidance strategy – pretending a problem isn’t there; avoiding someone; hoping the issue might go away.
My chiropractor used to have a poster on his therapy room wall:
What are the 6 most common words we hear from patients in pain?
“I thought it would go away.”
Funny, isn’t it, how we laugh at the ostrich, with its head in the sand. But that’s often our preferred response.
I have been reading the new book from Nelson Mandela. It contains unedited letters, notes and extracts from speeches, covering his life from childhood to the current day. There’s something about reading his words, in his own words, that makes them so much more potent.
Last night I read a story, which I would like to share with you.
Nelson Mandela tells of a story he used to hear, when he was young, which has been key to the way he has lived his life.
Back in a province where people believed in Evil Spirits, there was a man whose house was plagued with them. None of the usual, customary fixes had worked. So one day, he packed his truck with all his belongings and, in despair, decided to leave his problem behind him.
He hadn’t traveled very far along the road when a friend saw him and asked him what he was doing.
Before the man could reply, a voice from the back of the truck said, “We’re leaving our homestead and moving somewhere new.” He had brough his problems with him.
Nelson Mandela said this story inspired him, over and over, to face his problems; to deal with them.
Is The Problem Really As Bad As We Think?
Our problems are rarely as bad as we imagine and running away from them or denying their existence often makes them even bigger – or at least appear to be so. Resisting our problems gives them our power and energy, as we focus on fighting them or getting rid of them. It causes our “monkey mind” to work overtime, telling us stories about our problems and everything that might or might not happen. It destroys our inner peace. We lose access to that deeper wisdom, while we’re running away.
Imagine, instead, turning to face them? Accepting them as the learning experience they might be? Allowing ourselves to deal with them and release the stress and pain they had been causing?
What would it take for us to turn around and face our “monster problems”, instead of running from them?
What would we have to believe, to choose that option?
Is there a problem in your life, right now, that could do with “being handled”? Is there something that has been waking you up at night, nudging you, to remind you it’s out there? Wanting your attention?
How about imagining, just for a moment, turning to face it, instead of pushing it away.
Is it really as big an issue as your mind has been telling you?
Does it actually need handling at all? Or is it just your Ego’s way of keeping you in check?
And, if it does need dealing with, what steps could you take, right now, to move towards a solution? How much better would that feel?
What are your top suggestions for facing your problems? Is there anything that has worked / not worked for you? Feel free to share via the comments box!