“The problem is never the problem. The problem is the way you’re seeing the problem”
I wear glasses, and I’m one of those people who constantly seems to need to clean them. Somehow, without any intervention on my part, the glasses just get grubby – all on their own.
A bit like that old story about the frog in a pan of boiling water, I often just get used to peering through this smog as I go about my daily business. Until either they get so bad, that I just have to clean them. Or my husband, Ross, will say to me “For the love of God, how can you see ANYTHING through those?”, and will whip them off my head and clean them himself.
It’s always such a relief to see the world clearly again.
It’s a great metaphor for our thinking too.
When our thinking gets “cloudy”, or “fogged up”, we just don’t see what’s actually going on. Everything is distorted.
We even see things that aren’t really there at all. Or, they may be there, but they’re not as solid as we think they are. They’re like clouds.
Imagine if the aviation industry believed that clouds were solid, nobody would ever be able to fly anywhere! (Announcement: we’re sorry but all flights are cancelled today – we just spotted a cloud).
Often, the issues we think are ‘real’ or ‘solid’ in our lives are just like the clouds in the sky.
And, because of the paradigms we live in, we are often blind to the obvious solution right in front of our noses.
We’ve known this for decades (nay, centuries… think Galileo and Copernicus).
Many once-successful organisations have gone out of business as a direct result of refusing to accept a new paradigm that replaced the old one. As Joel Barker, the futurist writer used to say: “When a paradigm shifts, everyone goes back to zero”.
The new paradigm – now becoming mainstream, and widely accepted by scientists as well as spiritual teachers, psychologists and philosophers – is that we experience life only and ever from the inside-out. Most people are still unconsciously operating as if the old paradigm were true – that our experience of life is determined by our circumstances – what’s going on ‘out there’. This innocent misunderstanding is at the root of all suffering.
We live in the feeling of our thinking. (But only 100% of the time!)
Let’s bring this back closer to home now. Think of your biggest challenge, issue or problem.
What’s really going on – if you saw this from a place of clarity, well-being and innate well-being?
What story have you been making up about it?
How could you start to tell yourself a new, fresh, different story about it – one that would allow you to either accept things as they are with ease and grace, or change them if that’s what your inner wisdom recommends?
Does the problem really exist at all? If it does, is it really as solid and intractable as you’ve been making it with your personal thinking, or is it more cloud-like?
What shifts occur when you clean your glasses?
I’d love to hear your questions, challenges, insights or stories about this.