These last two weeks have been full of obstacles. Huge, grey boulders of pain and frustration cropped up everywhere. I want the problem to be outside of me. I want some one or something to blame. I want to shake my fist at all the small minded and callously indifferent. A cause celebre, that’s what I thought I wanted. Tossing dramatic phases and bits of bad poetry at the ugly grey wall wasn’t getting me anywhere. In fact, it was making things worse. Something was wrong but I didn’t know what.
Some times,it takes a while before I catch on. My attitude, my limited perspective was the source of the problem. Problems do exist outside of me and some of them are really big ones. The frustration I was feeling was my problem. I wanted it to stop. Expecting that to magically happen from the outside would trap me inside my frustration forever. I had to own it. Accept it as mine and determine what I could do about it.
First, I had to tackle the problem of other people’s perceptions when they didn’t match my own. Which perception would I choose? Don’t laugh. Choosing my perception over another isn’t something that comes easily or naturally to me. A large part of my frustration came from trying to buy what they were saying when I knew that wasn’t true for me. I had to remind myself that I live inside me. What I think or feel doesn’t have to be right or wrong. It just has to be mine.
Second, I had to acknowledge that some of the boulders I was running into weren’t worth the struggle. It was time to find another way to move past them and beyond. I started looking at the people in my life. Were they supportive, consistent, trustworthy? Did they demonstrate their friendship through actions? Were they there when I needed them? Did we share something vital and important in common?
Wanting them to be different, wanting the relationship to be different didn’t make it so. They make choices and I make mine. Listening to my heart, I finally heard what it has been trying to tell me. It is ok to let some things go.
Finally, I had to look inside myself and determine which struggles are worth the effort. My life is littered with obstacles. I don’t need to accept other peoples limits as my own. I simply need to deal with what is limiting me in this moment. Nothing limits like the restrictions of one’s own thinking. Seeing things as obstacles makes them obstacles. It is time to see them as opportunities.
I listened to the weariness I feel when people talk about their problems. Such talk focuses on lack or what stands in the way or whose to blame. It focuses on a weird sort of one-up-man-ship.
“My problems are bigger than yours.”