People often identify their own negativity, problems and blocks in life, but desire quick answers and fixes to ensure their happiness and freedom. The solution is to discover and remove the reasons for negativity, problems and blocks.
Some prospective clients are really interested in helping themselves resolve issues in their lives, but never seem to take the steps required to do what they agree to.
This behaviour of seeing people admitting to wanting help in their life situations, but not taking the steps to help themselves, has been playing on my mind for a few months.
The caring side of me keeps trying to motivate people, and the self-preservation side tells me to let go as some people don’t really want help and are expressing wanting for their own strange reasons.
I could feel frustration set in, but fortunately had two experiences which helped me see a reason why people may say they have problems in life, express desire for helping themselves, but not taking the steps when they say they will.
The first experience was an email containing an excerpt from the book ‘The Untethered Soul‘.
The excerpt was about how people create their problems and never really fix them, and even though that made sense, a part of me already knew that and hence I did not quite feel I yet understood the reasoning my mind was looking for.
It was, however, the second experience of a prospective client which confirmed some recent thoughts that came to me, and which really demonstrated what may be going on in these strange experiences of people wanting to help themselves, but not.
The thoughts perhaps clarified that some people desire to experience happiness, freedom and answers in life, but a part of them have negative feelings such as of overwhelm, cost, loss, disbelief, fear, to good to be true, which may be preventing them actually taking the steps to help themselves.
And the precise obstacle in making progress seems to be the mind focusing on the negativity, problem and block rather than the solution and the experience of happiness, answers, and freedom in life.
I have written the excerpt from the book below, and later about literally re-solving our issues in life situations, and how to start taking the steps to break free of negativity, problems and blocks to realy start experiencing our happiness, answers, and freedom.
From ‘The Untethered Soul’.
The spiritual journey is one of constant transformation.
In order to grow, you must give up the struggle to remain the same, and learn to embrace change at all times.
One of the most important areas requiring change is how we solve our personal problems. We normally attempt to
solve our inner disturbances by protecting ourselves.
Real transformation begins when you embrace your problems as agents for growth.
In order to understand how this process works, let’s examine the following situation.
The thorn (the problem) in your life.
Imagine that you have a thorn in your arm that directly touches a nerve. When the thorn is touched. it’s very painful.
Because it hurts so much, the thorn is a serious problem. It’s difficult to sleep because you roll over on it. It’s hard to get close to people because they might touch it.
It makes your daily life very difficult. You can’t even go for a walk in the woods because you might brush the thorn against the branches.
This thorn is a constant source of disturbance, and to solve the problem you only have two choices.
The first choice is to look at your situation and decide that since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn, you need to make sure nothing touches it.
The second choice is to decide that since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn, you need to take it out.
Believe it or not, the effects of the choice you make will determine the course of the rest of your life. This is one of the core-level, structural decisions that lay the foundation for your future.
Let’s begin with the first choice and explore how it will affect your life.
If you decide you have to keep things from touching the thorn, then that becomes the work of a lifetime.
If you want to go for a walk in the woods, you’ll have to thin out the branches to make sure you don’t brush against them.
Since you often roll over and touch the thorn when you sleep, you’ll have to find a solution for that as well.
Perhaps you could design an apparatus that acts as a protective device.
If you really put a lot of energy into it and your solution seemed to work, you would think that you had solved your problem. You’d say, “I can sleep now. And guess what? I got to go on TV to give a testimonial. Anybody who has the thorn problem can get my protective device, and I even get paid royalties.”
So now you’ve got a whole life built around this thorn, and you’re proud of it. You keep the woods thinned out, and you wear the apparatus to bed at night.
But now you have a new problem — you fell in love. This is a problem because in your situation, it’s hard to even hug. Nobody can touch you because they might touch the thorn. So you design another kind of device that allows closeness amongst people without actually touching.
Eventually you decide you want total mobility without having to worry about the thorn anymore.
So you make a full-time device that doesn’t have to be unstrapped at night or changed over for hugging and other daily activities. But it’s heavy. So you put wheels on it, control it with hydraulics, and install collision sensors. It’s actually quite an impressive device.
Of course, you had to change the doors in the house so that the protective apparatus could get through. But at least now you can live your life. You can go to work, go to sleep, and get close to people.
So you announce to everyone, “I have solved my problem. I am a free being. I can go anywhere I want. I can do anything I want. This thorn used to run my life. Now it doesn’t run anything.”
The truth is, the thorn completely runs your entire life.
It affects all your decisions, including where you go, whom you’re comfortable with, and who’s comfortable with you. It determines where you’re allowed to work, what house you can live in, and what kind of bed you can sleep on at night.
When it’s all said and done, that thorn is running every aspect of your life.
It turns out that the life of protecting yourself from your problem becomes a perfect reflection of the problem itself. You didn’t solve anything.
If you don’t solve the root cause of the problem, but instead, attempt to protect yourself from the problem, it ends up running your life.
You end up so psychologically fixated on the problem that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You actually feel that because you’ve minimised the pain of the problem, you’ve solved the problem. But it is not solved.
All you did was devote your life to avoiding it.
It is now the center of your universe.
It’s all there is.
What we can learn.
Think of all our beliefs, desires, what we want, have, and want to have — everything physical, knowledge and our relationships with people.
Think of all these as contraptions that we create in our lives to prevent us feeling the pain of the thorn.
We can spend a lifetime creating our contraptions in life, until we realise that we are simply not happy in our life situations, and that by adding to, or fixing them, does not make us happy, but instead creates our unhappy experiences.
We can discover that adding to and fixing our contraptions is tiring, and the process is actually restricting our happiness and freedom.
We may even remember the first pain of the thorn and believe why we have created the contraptions and restrictions in our life, but again realise that what we thought we had to do has not really worked to avoid the pain.
Therefore, we can say and somewhat admit that our mind, and its intellect, cannot make, or keep us happy.
Einstein had such experiences:
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.”
That may not sound easy to accept, but if you look at it all, it is your intellect that has created the contraptions, which have created your restrictions, that have prevented your freedom and happiness.
Alternatively, we may not remember the first pain of the thorn, as it may have been from a very young age, and perhaps from being a baby.
It is from that forgotten past that we started to create our contraptions and restrictions which are now making us unhappy, and probably will do in future.
And this when we live a life where we are really not aware of why we are the way we are, and why we do what we do in life.
What’s the other choice?
The second choice is to decide that since it’s so disturbing when the thorn is touched, you take it out. This can be quite a simple process if the thorn is removed very soon after the first painful experience of it being touched. This solution is simple because as a part of you truly knows that the pain has been created by the thorn being there. You can remove it and move in in life, without the pain, without the thorn, and without the need for contraptions that restrict your freedom and happiness in life.
However, and most probably, years if not decades have passed whilst we have been creating and adding to the contraptions and restrictions to protect us from the pain of the thorn. We create the reasons and beliefs of why we are the way we are, and why we do what we do. Then, when the understanding or solution of how to fix our unhappiness from the restriction of contraptions is presented to us, we feel and react in the following ways that prevent us removing the pain of the thorn, and the thorn itself.
- Overwhelm, cost, and loss.
We may feel that it is too overwhelming or costly to remove the thorn as the work will require time, energy and perhaps incur other costs over and beyond what we believe we have or want to have. We may also feel overwhelmed by our current life situations having to change so much that we cannot see ourselves having the time, energy, and perceived costs to make the change, or that in the change we may lose something that we think we want.
- Disbelief and fear.
We may not like, not believe, or we may fear the new understanding or solution as it rips apart both our actual core beliefs, desires and wants (our contraptions), and also all the time and energy put into creating our contraptions and restrictions in the first place.
- Too good to be true, and a fantasy.
We may think and believe that our minds and intellect have so far fixed our problems by adding to our contraptions and restriction. This may lead us to think and believe that our problems cannot be fixed, that negative experiences are our destiny or karma in life, and that a new understanding or solution, that our mind does not understand, is too good to be true and a fantasy.
When and how you choose to remove the thorn and pain for good?
Your mind and intellect will carry on creating, adding to and fixing your contraptions, creating more restrictions on your happiness and freedom.
At this stage, you think that you know what to do, or that you can learn about new and different ways, and things, to add to your contraptions to avoid the pain and restrictions preventing your happiness and freedom.
It is when you realise over time that adding to and fixing your contraptions and restrictions does not work for you, as you are simply not experiencing your happiness and freedom.
When the pain and suffering of trying but not knowing what to do gets intense and unbearable for you, your feelings of overwhelm, cost, loss, disbelief, fear, to good to be true, have to be, or are, put aside by your mind.
It is then that a space is created within you for another way, or solution, to be accepted.
However, the only other solution is to attend to the original and first pain from the thorn, and the thorn itself.
Einstein understood how problems are best resolved.
I find the following quotes from Einstein really help in understanding how our contraptions create restrictions, which create our unhappiness, negativity and problems.
“Problems are best solved not on the level where they appear to occur but on the next level above them. Problems are best solved by transcending them and looking at them from a higher viewpoint.”
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
The quickest fix I know of to experience your happiness, answers and freedom in life.
First, think about the most painful and most costly problem (not necessarily financial) in your life situations, where you have the most negative feelings.
That one problem you identified is there because you have created your contraptions — your beliefs, desires, what you want, have, and want to have — everything physical, knowledge, and your relationships with people.
The contraptions have created restrictions and often further problems in your life around the problem you identified, but you carry on adding to or fixing your contraptions, as you think you will eventually be happy and free of the problem.
Really think about the problem, and be honest with yourself;
Can you, in a few years time, or later in life, see this one problem being resolved if you carry on using, adding to, or fixing your contraptions and restrictions, and expect yourself to be happy and free of the problem?
Think about people whom you know, and also those you do not know. Can tell all these people in a few years time or later that you are are experiencing your happiness, answers and freedom in life?