Shifting Perspectives about Problems

Everyone has problems- not just one particular area of concern. The difference however is that some people play the victim whereas others own their problems regardless of whether it was their own wrongdoing or somebody forcing it on them. A Buddhist monk I follow, Ajahn Bramh once shared how problems are like strangers leaving garbage full of cow dung in front of your lawn. Some people carry it everywhere with them not knowing what to do with it, whereas others choose to deal with it by using it as a fertilizer in their backyard.

I wish I could say I’m different in the sense that I have just one or better yet, no problem at all. But I’m not. Here are a few from a long list:

  • I’m restless.
  • I’m not the healthiest.
  • I’m afraid of commitments.
  • I’m still in debt.
  • I don’t have the best of relations with my parents.

Gladly, I’m one of those who would use the cow dung as a fertilizer. And so, the right way of looking at my problems would be:

  • I’m restless and so I try to meditate.
  • I’m not the healthiest and so I make it a point to get some exercise and watch what I eat.
  • I’m afraid of commitments and so I try not to mislead anyone.
  • I’m still in debt and so I’m fully focused on paying off my last remaining few thousands.
  • I don’t have the best of relations with my parents and so I’m trying to communicate better and be more compassionate and accepting of who they are.

I’ve come to realize that it’s not the factors in themselves that cause us problems. It is rather, our relationship with them and the way we perceive them that determines our viewing of reality.

And that my friends, is always under our control!

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