Problems Aren't Solved by Thinking About Them
Problems Aren't Solved by Thinking About Them
Here is a guest post from my wife, Gina Lake:
When we have a problem, it tends to pop up in our mind many times a day. We worry about it and try to figure out what to do. But thinking about our problems is mostly thinking about what might happen in the future: We wonder, "What's going to happen and how will it affect me?" The trouble with these kinds of thoughts is that there are no answers to these questions-until there are-no matter how hard we think about the so-called problem. These answers and the solution to whatever problem we think we have is revealed over time, in the course of life unfolding, and this course of unfolding can't be rushed. The answers to our questions about our problems are revealed in their own time, and we have little influence on the timing of this.
The mind doesn't like the fact that we can't always know what to do immediately or how things will work out, and it pushes to know what to do and what will happen before it's possible to know this. Sometimes the mind makes up answers just to know, and then it pretends to know what to do and what will happen. That is usually how the mind approaches any problem. But problems are always resolved in time. It is the nature of life to move on and for things to change. So problems and problematic situations naturally change, often without doing anything about them but responding naturally to the situation as needed. We do what needs to be done as that presents itself.
Solutions are often discovered intuitively, as they pop into our mind: We suddenly know what we need to do about a situation. And we may wonder why we didn't see the answer sooner! But that's how it is in life: We don't know until we do. And all our protests about this and struggling to know can't change this fact. A common example is a health problem: We may live with it for years, and then suddenly we run across some information about it that gives us the solution or explanation we were looking for.
Sometimes we aren't meant to find answers to our problems. Some problem may be serving a purpose in catalyzing our growth or pointing us in a new direction. It's difficult to see this when it is happening, but often years down the road the blessing of having that experience becomes clear to us. Even if it doesn't, we can trust that our so-called problems serve us in some way, if not only to create the suffering that ultimately shows us that we were the creator of that suffering all along and didn't actually have a problem, except the problem we created by thinking about something in a particular way.
An example of this is that we may feel our relationship is problematic. We're unhappy and we don't know what to do about it. Then we discover that we are creating our own suffering and a sense of there being a problem by the demands we're making on our partner to be different, instead of just accepting him or her and allowing that person and the relationship to be the way it is.
The egoic mind comes up with all sorts of things it doesn't like, and these become problems. But is it really a problem that you don't like something? What if you decided it was okay to not like something? Or what if you decided that you didn't need to change something just because you didn't like it? That's called acceptance-you accept something you don't like just because you decide to accept it rather than focus on not liking it and making it into a problem. Or what if you decided that you liked it instead of the opposite?
Thinking about our problems doesn't help. It only makes it impossible to enjoy life as it is showing up. And if you look closely, you will also realize that without your thoughts about a situation, there is no problem. All problems are simply defined as such by the mind. What if you didn't listen to the mind's worries, fears, and perspectives on life? Living in the Now is a place of freedom from such thoughts. Life is still handled, problems are still solved, but with much more peace and joy. Life doesn't have to be so hard!
Gina Lake is a nondual spiritual teacher and the author of over twenty books about awakening to one’s true nature. She is also an intuitive and a channel with a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and over twenty-five years’ experience supporting people in their spiritual growth. The focus of her writing and teaching is on helping people be in the present moment and live a happy and fulfilled life and on shedding light on the ego and other programming that interferes with that. Her teachings are most similar to Eckhart Tolle's, Byron Katie's, Adyashanti's, A Course in Miracles, and other nondual teachings. In 2012, Jesus began dictating books through her, which she receives in the same way that Helen Schucman received A Course in Miracles. You can find out more about that process here. These teachings from Jesus are based on universal truth, not on any religion. For more info visit her website: https://www.radicalhappiness.com.