Sometimes in life it’s hard to see the silver lining. As people we experience a variety of problems, stresses and challenges as part of our life experience.
Sometimes we find ourselves living in a world in which we just don’t seem to fit. Sometimes we may feel like a round peg trying to fit into the (structured) square hole of life. Sometimes we may feel like a square peg struggling to join with the (fluid) round hole of life. Sometimes we may feel like a triangular peg searching to find our place, often with no holes in sight.
We have been trained to believe “you aren’t going to fit in unless you re-shape your edges.” However, this is not true.
The challenges life brings us can be divided into three main categories: Spiritual Problems, Thinking Problems and Behavioral Problems.
When it comes to spirituality, we may experience a variety of stresses or challenges. Spiritual Problems relate to the challenge of finding balance in our life. Life is all about change and living is all about staying in balance. Life is an ongoing process of being in balance, being pulled out-of-balance, and finding a new level of balance. This life process is all about discovering who and what we are as a human being.
We discover who and what we are through three levels of awareness: what we know, what we understand, and what we believe.
- There are times when we just KNOW that certain things are true. We don’t have to explain, prove, or defend these things. When this happens, we are experiencing our intuition, creativity, spontaneity, and discovery.
- There are times we have to UNDERSTAND things before they become true for us. When this happens, we are experiencing our use of logic and reasoning.
- There are times when we BELIEVE that certain things are true. When this happens, we are experiencing the decisions we have made about ourselves and others based on past events.
When it comes to thinking, we may experience a variety of stresses or challenges. Thinking Problems relate to the challenge of constructive assessment and discernment.
Fear is a powerful force. When we live in fear, “how we feel” becomes the driving force in our reasoning process. Our feelings are in control of our ability to make decisions, take action, and hear feedback.
We resort to automatic emotions and behaviors that cover up the fear. These automatic emotions and behaviors go like this:
- We feel hurt.
- We manage our hurt by blaming Since blame seldom makes us feel better, we deduce that if it is not the other person’s fault, it must be our fault.
- We then switch to guilt by blaming ourselves.
- We have learned to cover up our guilt by getting angry. Anger comes in 3 forms:
- Anger at Others (Hostility)
- Anger at Ourselves (Depression)
- Unexpressed Anger (Resentment)
- If feeling guilty and getting angry does not make the hurt go away, we come to the conclusion that, “It is not what I have done that is wrong, but I as a person am wrong.”
This is shame. Shame is a deep belief that “I am damaged.”
- We have learned to cover up shame with apathy. Apathy is numbness, a feeling of not caring.
It results in repressed rage.
When it comes to behavior, we may experience a variety of stresses or challenges. Behavioral Problems relate to the challenge of taking charge of our life.
When we are in control, we fear losing control of others. When we are not in control we are obsessed with getting into control of others.
We have learned to live in a cycle of control made up of the following emotional triggers and their corresponding defensive reactions:
- We often feel like there are no real choices in our life, and everything is a “have to.”
- We often feel we have to manage other people’s outcomes and do the impossible.
- We often feel uncertain about the future and lack trust in ourselves.
- We often feel we are being made responsible for things over which we have no control.
- We often feel that others are angry at us, or we experience our own anger.
- We often feel rejected by others and are focused on how to reject others first.
- We often feel that others have too many expectations of us.
We often feel we are either being controlled by others or trying to escape the control of others.
How we solve the problem and fill the need?
Each environment brings with it a different shape (challenge) and flow of life: circle, square and triangle.
The question is how do we learn to ebb and flow into and out of these different environments… without compromising who we are? How do we keep our shape? How do we adapt to being in the world, but not of the world?
When problems, stresses and challenges arise in a shape that we are unfamiliar with or perceive we are unable to solve, how do we solve the problem and fill the need?
Regardless of the shape of your problem,
Possibilities for Consideration
Take a moment and examine…
- As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
- What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
- What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
- You may want to consider whether you:
- want to be aware of,
- should become supportive of,
- would want to be active in this topic?
Add Your Insight
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
LEONARDO DA VINCI