Getting Over Your Problems
To hear Father Peter reading blog:
You have all heard the expression, “Everyone has problems.” That is mostly true. But I want to break down the word problem a little. A problem can be a struggle or a challenge and by this I mean something you have to overcome or solve. The other kind of problem might be confusion, worry, inability, or insecurity. In this regard, we would say, “That person has lots of problems.” If you are challenged by something, that is a part of life. Everyone has to gain experience in order master a job or a subject. The challenge of learning to master material or skills is a necessity of life that everyone experiences. As your consciousness expands and your abilities increase, you might experience the struggle and challenge of growing and developing. This is a natural part of life and you should embrace this with acceptance and courage.
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Problems of worry, insecurity, anger and helplessness are more difficult to overcome. A completely different approach is necessary with these types of problems. You can’t just try harder and hope that depression will be overcome. You might think that just acting incredibly optimistic will suppress worry, but it doesn’t work that way. If you suppress a feeling or a thought, in a very short time that feeling or thought will explode within you and express intensely as a reaction to the suppression. There are two ways to overcome problems of this nature. First, you have to express the opposite of what has been troubling you. This takes practice and consistency and will eventually form a new pattern in your life. For example, if you are worried, then you affirm that life is working out well and everything has a good lesson within it that is yours for the taking. If you are angry, you can develop a feeling of peace and forgiveness in your heart as an antidote to the anger. The second way to overcome problems is to uncover the cause of the problem and how it came to be in you. This takes more work but has a greater likelihood of success in changing the problem. For example, if you are angry, you have to uncover what is scaring you or hurting you. All anger is caused by fear or hurt. So if you discover what you are afraid of or hurt by, you can address that and speak about that instead of putting out a violent, angry reaction that makes matters worse. If you are insecure, you can see what is causing that inside. Did someone brow-beat you with the idea that you were not good enough or were not able to do things? Did some important person not feel you were worth spending time with? Then you have to confront that person’s ideas in your mind and speak the truth about yourself. This will replace the lies that you used to accept as true. If you are depressed, you can look to your conclusion that deciding or acting won’t do any good. You can change that by taking decisive action.
One last thing: if you think about your problems, they will only get bigger. Turn away and think thoughts that affirm the truth about you and how you want to be. Then walk into your new life. Forget about the past.
What do you do when you can’t figure out what to do? Everyone has experienced a time when you don’t know which road to go or what course of action to take. A dilemma presents itself and you can’t decide. That is the cause of confusion – you are unable to make a decision. There are too many options and you can’t be sure which option is the best one. When you are confused, there is an overload of choices. As you weigh the value of each choice, your mind is flooded with possibilities and you start to feel overwhelmed. In this overwhelming swirl of possibilities, you feel unable to decide. If this persists for a while, you will get a cold or the sniffles because you are feeling sorry for yourself. You can’t decide, so you’re confused and the cold symptoms are a plea for someone to rescue you from the problem. If you get a headache along with the cold symptoms, then you are experiencing resentment because the burden of deciding is placed squarely on your shoulders and you don’t like it.
Making a decision will solve the problem and the symptoms will clear up immediately. It is that simple. However, making a decision about something can be the hardest thing in the world. How can you decide something when there are obviously a few good choices and there is no way to tell how they will work out? You have to take the risk and weigh the choices using your reason. Write down the alternatives and put them on a list in order of their importance. Make two columns beside them and write out the pros and cons to making that particular choice. Do this with each possible choice and then weigh them all to see which one you are leaning towards as a decision. You can’t know for sure in each case, so you have to make a choice. Don’t leave yourself hanging – make a choice. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to change that down the road. What is the problem with changing something if it is not right or if it is not working out? Decide and live with it for a while and see how it fits you. If it is really not a good fit, change your mind and do something different or choose something different. I call that practicing. Practicing is learning to make choices and fine-tuning those choices until they really fit who you are and what you really want. Learn the art of making decisions by learning to fine-tune what matters to you so you can be fully committed to what you want and not let other options get in your way or confuse you. Confusion is solved if you make a decision and put your heart into it. Letting the confusing problem sit out in the rain to get soggy will result in symptoms that make matters worse than they are. Decide.