Problem? What Problem?

Most troubles, when left to their own devices, go away. Would you agree?

After reading the fabulous A New Earth, I've been trying to put the lessons learned to use. It's not supposed to be difficult because, after all, it's just a shift in consciousness – you don't have to really do anything. Still, old habits die hard, and I just find it so easy to worry.

So I got to thinking about what my 'problems' really were and wondered if it was possible to stop worrying about them?

I've come to the conclusion that there are three things that happen when you leave your problems to sort themselves out:

First, you relax. You don't worry about the problem anymore and therefore your mind becomes free to come up with a creative way to solve the problem. Richard Carlson calls this the 'back burner' effect. If you have some big problem you don't know the answer to, just get on with other things. Your subconscious mind will 'work' on the problem, but that pesky ego part of the brain that really blows everything out of proportion and gets itself tied into knots won't get involved. This happens to me all the time with work difficulties or writing problems. I can't figure out how to get something done so I just stop thinking about it. Usually when I am on the train or on a walk somewhere a solution will just pop into my head out of nowhere. Putting problems on the back burner really does work.

Second, it gives you the space to assess if it really is a problem. Sometimes 'problems' are just uncertainties or worries you've created. (Actually, most of the time that's what they are.) If you tell yourself that a problem will sort itself out, sometimes that's just the right amount of space you need to realize that it isn't really a problem. And, if you do decide there is a problem, and there's something you can do about it, then you can come at it from a relaxed, clear mindset, instead of a flustered, angry one.

Third, letting problems sort themselves out gives the universe time to, well, actually sort it out. Most things aren't really in our control. You may decide that you can't stand your boss and you don't know what to do about it. But then your boss might get transferred, or a new job opportunity comes up. You don't have to do something about everything. Sometimes all you need is a little acceptance and before you know it, the situation will have changed.

I know that many would argue that real problems don't go away, that there is always something to worry about and bad things do happen. And while bad things may happen, so much of what we worry about is in our mind. When you think about the now – the right now – what really is the problem?

So for now, I'm taking a stab at truly believing that my problems will get sorted out and leaving them to it, so that I can relax and actually enjoy my life.

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  1. It's hard but important, knowing when we cross the line from "planning what to do next" to worrying and useless churning. Much does solve itself if only given time and space. (Or, you find out a unibrow isn't that awful a look, after all!)

    1. It did work for Freida Kalho!! Thanks for your comment, and interestingly, my post was not far from 'The Wasteland of Worry' on your site yesterday! ( I enjoyed your concept of not being able to 'bank' worry points. So true.

  2. I like it! But does it work in practice? Would love to live with that philosophy, I worry all the time about everything. My short term solution is to tell my husband about it and I've found that once you've put the problem into words it somehow diminish.

    1. I'm not saying it's easy to put in practice, but if you think about it, what else is worrying but not-present-moment living? If you are worrying about something in the past or something in the future you are not focusing on what it is you are doing at the moment. Which diminishes enjoyment of life. That said, I agree with you on putting problems into words. Whenever I say something out loud it does seem to diminish -- and I find this effect increases based on how ridiculous the worry is to begin with!


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