It’s interesting to think about the idea that nothing is a problem until we make it a problem.
Life certainly doesn’t feel that way. But it’s interesting to play with.
I got into an argument with my dear husband last week. After the argument I let myself be upset for a while. I didn’t try to push my emotions away or cover them up. I just let myself feel all the things.
Then I got curious.
What if none of this is a problem? First there was the situation we were arguing about. What if it’s not a problem that it happened? What if it’s not a problem that we disagreed? What if it’s not a problem that I didn’t handle it perfectly? What if it’s not a problem that we may never see eye-to-eye on this? What if it’s not a problem that my husband didn’t show up the way I wanted him to? What if it’s not a problem that I thought a bunch of thoughts that left me feeling upset and hurt?
If none of it is a problem…moving on from there is pretty easy. There wasn’t anything I needed to forgive or forget. Because there wasn’t a problem. I was able to show up as the wife I wanted to be, loving and affectionate, without a struggle.
I had another moment with my tween son. Like most boys his age, he speaks with a particular tone of voice accompanied by specific body language (oh, the eye rolling). Usually, I tend to get a bit irritated by this because I think something like “He’s so disrespectful.”
But what if his tone of voice and body language aren’t a problem? If I didn’t make it mean anything, I could feel the way I want to (love) and respond the way I want to (kind, loving, compassionate, understanding). I could show up as the kind of mom I want to be — regardless of his behavior. Because it isn’t a problem.
OK, I’m going to make the big leap… what if coronavirus isn’t a problem? Life always changes. People always die. The future is always uncertain. Life looks different right now but nothing has actually changed. This is just what life looks like right now. This is part of our human experience. It was always going to happen this way. What if it’s not a problem?
So how do we make our problems disappear? We decide they aren’t actually problems. They weren’t problems until we made them problems. So we can certainly stop making them problems.
I know, I know. Your brain is freaking out right now. You’re thinking of all the problems in your life that are definitely problems. You’re, for sure, jumping to the most extreme examples you can think of. “You’re saying murder isn’t a problem?” (The answer, by the way, is I choose to make murder a problem.)
I get it.
You can absolutely decide I’m wrong and keep dealing with your problems. That’s totally available to you.
But what if I’m right? What do you have to lose by trying this out? Take the next week to question all your “problems” and see what happens. It’s just an experiment.
Here are a few questions to play with:
What if this isn’t a problem?
If this wasn’t a problem, how would I show up differently?
How am I making this a problem?
What am I thinking that is turning this into a problem?
Am I willing to look at this differently so it’s no longer a problem?