Brilliant Miller's Blog
Letting Go of Preferences, Prejudices and Problem Solving
I have a theory that problems don’t exist—that anything we call a “problem” is just a judgment.
If you’re okay with the weather where you live, it’s not a problem.
If you like the food in your town, it’s not a problem.
If you’re content with your spouse or partner or the work you do, well then please share your secrets with the rest of humanity.
For everyone else—the great masses who aren’t satisfied with the love they get, the money they earn or the work they do, life is FULL of problems.
And we haven’t even gotten to religion or the way the country is run…
I know someone (and maybe you do too) who occasionally starts conversations with, “You know what the problem with [something-or-other] is?”
I listen politely, waiting for the preference and the prejudice that inevitably follows.
It reminds me of Anne Lamott’s words, “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
When we can recognize and do our best to go beyond our attachments and aversions—our judgments—we can remember that “problem” is a word that somebody made up a long time ago. We just keep on using it.
The spiritual teacher Ram Dass once said, “When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. … And so I practice turning people into trees.”
It’s not a problem that some of those trees are bent, or straight or whatever.
It’s not a problem that the people and circumstances of your life are whatever they are.
Unless you say so.
A question I find intriguing, is what attitude—what quality, presence, intention or purpose—do we CHOOSE to place behind all our goals and activity and (heaven forbid) problem solving and living?
Peter De Vries said, “The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe.”
There’s no solving that.
But that’s okay… it’s not a problem.
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