When something doesn’t go the way we think it should, we call it a problem–and we all have them.
Depending on your job, it might feel like most of your day is spent trying to solve problems and then you get home to even more to solve.
You might be trying to solve relationship problems that keep you struggling, agitated and on guard, preventing you from being fully opening to your partner.
The definition of a problem is a “matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with or overcome.”
And the way most of us deal with or overcome problems is to constantly think about them and mull them over until we’ve worked ourselves into an over-thinking frenzy–and there’s no solution in sight.
We’ve discovered that there’s no solution in sight because there’s no room for inspiration to appear. Our churning thoughts and expectations cloud over anything that can look like new thought.
As the two of us have looked differently at how to solve relationship problems and life issues in our lives over the last year, we’ve discovered that there is no such thing as a problem.
You might be saying right now–But wait, my problem is real!
Yes, life and relationship problems do look real and we’re not saying there aren’t situations where you do need to take action but to use an old phrase–a “problem” is in the eye of the beholder.
There’s the reality of the situation and then there’s what we make up about it.
Here’s what we mean about how to solve relationship problems…
Recently, Otto talked with a man who told him his wife had Alzheimers disease and he needed to make sure she had daytime care.
He told Otto, “This isn’t how I imagined my life was going to turn out”–but he didn’t seem miserable.
He didn’t look at this as a “problem” but it just is what is.
One of our favorite phrases is this…
“Life has a way of working out.”
We’ve seen it time and time again in our lives and in the lives of those we talk with.
A “solution” or new path will show itself if we allow it.
Awhile ago a woman told us her husband of 15 years had been having an affair and she’s come to realize that if he truly wants to be with the other woman, that’s what needs to happen.
It doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard or she’d prefer a different outcome but she seemed at peace with “what is.”
One of our favorite teachers is Byron Katie and she talks about “an imagined dangerous future” which is where our thinking usually goes when we perceive there’s a problem.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Yes, situations do come up and people close to us do act in ways we’d rather they not do but we don’t have to spin “an imagined dangerous future” around it.
In fact, if we don’t and allow the space for inspiration to occur to us, it just may turn out that it isn’t a problem after all.