How to Deal With Problems Gracefully
You can never step off your path because no matter where you are,
if you look down at your feet you will see the path beneath them.
There is no such thing as a life without problems. Life is composed of a rich combination of experiences easy and difficult; happy and sad. So there must be a way to deal with problems gracefully. I’ve recently discovered two.
I was reading a statement by Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, where he says that people who find life difficult are those who see problems as personal, pervasive and permanent. These three “P”s play out like this: I have a problem…why do I always struggle this way (Personal) …these kinds of things will always happen to me (Permanent) …my life is filled with problems. (Pervasive).
Seligman says we should train ourselves to see problems as temporary, specific and external. I agree. This is a powerful way to challenge our thinking and turn our thoughts around.
I would like to share another way to address problems. If we believed that life supported us, we would conclude that whatever happened had value, supporting us on our journey. We would view a problem as a signpost, a pit stop, or perhaps a necessary detour on our journey because everything would be viewed as a contributing part of the process.
I have seen this over and over again in my life and I’m learning to remind myself of this with five simple words:
It’s all part of it.
It is so easy to look to the past and recognize how something that seemed negative was actually a blessing, but we don’t often see it with present-day events, especially when we are dealing with problems.
Nothing that happens in life has any meaning except the meaning we give to it. It is the way we view a situation that assigns its meaning. We can change the meaning, then, because we can change the way we view the situation.
And life is but a series of situations, some that we call “problems”.
Have you ever looked back on events in your life and realized a problem you faced in the past had intrinsic value today? Have you found a way to embrace present-day events with the same sense of knowing that all was well? Will you share your process?
Photo Credit: Frances Abbass