Are Problems Real?

I don’t have any problems. It suddenly occurred to me yesterday afternoon that problems only exist because I believe in them. They’re mental constructs that I decided to entertain as truth. Since they only exist in my mind, they can un-exist. If I’m not there to listen to them, do they still make a sound?

The moment I realized this, I felt a great sense of relief. Like I suddenly let go of everything I’ve been holding onto. And tightly, at that. While this doesn’t mean that I don’t have challenges, and I can certainly improve on many parts of my life, it does mean that I can stop complaining and give up my allegiance to victimhood. It’s simply seeing my life differently. What was an irritation before can now be a challenge to help me grow. People that irritate me may actually be teachers in disguise. It’s a different way of thinking. Seeing aspects of my life as problematic was a simply one way of viewing my life. It’s not the only way. A healthier way is to see my life through a filter of possibility.

A book I’m reading right now supports this view. “The Awakening Course”, by Joe Vitale, talks about separating ourselves from our thinking by taking control of our thoughts. When a complaint comes up or when we’re about to perceive something as a problem – reframe it. See it as an opportunity to do something challenging or a way to grow ourselves. It’s not so much what happened or is happening to us in the physical world, but rather what meaning we give them. How we perceive and feel about the events in our lives will dictate the level of happiness we experience.

Even though I’ve been feeling much more at peace with myself lately, there are still moments of anger that pop up. And they always stem from thoughts about a “problem”. When I’m not thinking about what is wrong or could go wrong, I’m perfectly happy. For this next week I’m going stop all complaining, and view any challenges that come up as possibilities. This way I’m going to get myself into the habit of focusing on what I want instead of what I want to avoid. Life can be wonderful, if I want it to be.