Messages In Problems

“Problems are messages. When there are problems in your life, the universe may be trying to get your attention. It’s saying, “Hey, there’s something you need to be aware of, something that needs to be changed over here!” ~ Shakti Gawain, The Shakti Gawain Essentials … 

Problems are a normal occurrence in my life. And although I do not ask for problems, or try to create them, they tend to show up whether I like it or not. Much of this can be blamed on my choices and actions. One small mistake will leave me with many repercussions that I must deal with down the road; and these negative consequences tend to stick around far longer than we would often like.

I recall a period of my young adult years in which I made some wrong choices, and nearly every aspect of my life was affected negatively, in some way or another, as a result. In addition, I was not very good at listening to the messages these problems were conveying to me at this period in my life, and as more problems began to arise, I would do my best to ignore them. Of course, if I knew then what I know now, I would have saw the messages, and I am confident that I could have avoided many of those problems that occurred. But I did not know, and I did not purposely ignore these messages either, I was simply unaware of them altogether.

So how can we recognize the messages that problems are conveying to us, understand them, and then apply those lessons to our lives? The first thing we must do is confront the problems and come to accept that they truly do exist–seeing the problems… is seeing the message. And then once we see it, we can look at it and figure out its dynamics–where it came from, what it involves, how others contributed to it, and most importantly, how we contributed to it. Did we act out of negligence, ignorance, silliness, uncaring? What can we learn about others through their contributions to the problem–their involvement or lack of involvement in it? Are they a positive influence or a negative one in our life?

How well we are able to recognize the messages present in our lives is a direct reflection of our awareness, our busyness, and the distractions that make up our lives. And with a little effort, we can learn to consistently recognize these messages, learn from them, and then apply those lessons in our lives, which will allow our lives to be much more positive, as well as less problematic.

Take some time to find a few messages in a problem you are facing today.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of messages about yourself might you find in your current problems?

How might we learn how to recognize messages more effectively?

Why are so few of us able to look at problems as if they might be bringing us special knowledge that is important to us?

For further thought:

“Welcome problems, reach out for them, charge into them and convert them in your mind immediately to challenges. The negative way to look at a problem is to think of it as a problem. Search it out, isolate it as a problem, then in your mind convert it to a challenge, determine the steps that you will need to surmount it just as the pole-vaulter needs to first determine steps and then work at it. Only in this way do you develop the skill, the coordination, the mind, the muscle and the confidence to really get it done.” ~ Joe D. Batten and Leonard C. Hudson, Dare to Live Passionately

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