Pause and Consider… Non-Problem Problems

Meditation – Tuesday

I notice a lightness – as if my life is coming together. How did the clouds of the weekend, the anxiety and sense of chaos, lift so easily, without effort on my part? Somehow yesterday my protocol (detailed plan) for the First-Friday journaling time I shall lead on Friday morning came together almost without effort – a rich and delightful experience. Before that, my extended breakfast with my daughter Nancy felt so rich, I felt we were connecting in a deep way. I did worry, however, about my becoming too philosophical or too spiritual with her – we talked about spiritual paths, about Al-Anon, about Pathwork, about the role of the church, all as related to supporting one in the realities of daily living, about how a spiritual path truly begins from our sense of hopelessness and helplessness. I expressed my concerns and Nancy assured me that she enjoyed the time as much as I did. Was this a taste of love? I dare to accept that it is!

Focusing Statement: Pathwork Lecture 131: ¶12-13

Let us first examine expressing.  One of the most important aspects to look at is your struggle to resolve problems on false premises.  The question slumbering within yourself — the question you unconsciously pose regarding a certain attitude toward life — is based on an utterly false premise.  It is often a nonexistent problem in itself, or it exists in an entirely different way than you consciously, or unconsciously, consider.  When you build defenses against a nonexistent problem, no matter how you struggle, no matter how you defend yourself, you must entangle yourself deeper into a web of confusion.  This is the general difficulty confronting all humanity, even those who are already on a path of self-realization.  For each one of you has yet to get disentangled from such predicaments:  struggling and defending against false assumptions, nonexistent dangers. You have already made such discoveries and some of you have already liberated yourselves from some of the false struggles.  You have understood them to some extent, but I venture to say that every one of you here — and every one of you who reads these words — still struggles against a problem that does not exist.

Struggling against nonexistent problems – now there is a helpful consideration! I need to list my so-called problems and then see whether or not they are real or imagined. Let me start with my conversation with Nancy yesterday. I left with a fear that I had shared too much, including issues with her siblings. Did I violate confidentiality? “Lighten up, Gary,” is the voice I hear back. My intent was to help Nancy see that each of us, and Dad most of all perhaps, faces problems arising out of our ignorance about life. I was not putting myself or anyone else down, just sharing the universality of life.  Breathe, Gary. Breathe. You are OK.  Yes, I can see that I perhaps MAKE this possible “impropriety” a “horrible” mistake, when in point it brings all us human beings closer together in the human experience of life.

I also looked at my more general problem of not feeling close enough to my kids and grandkids, about struggles with being OK in regards to my divorce ten years ago, and so on. As I face these “problems” they seem to lighten in importance. Yes, I am imperfect, but I am doing life as best I can, and as I do I am growing in awareness and living.

Another interesting arising. As the clouds lift with the clarity that emerges here I notice that I actually fear clarity, I fear truth!  What! I fear truth? Can it be? Why would I fear truth and clarity and prefer lack of clarity and confusion?  In a way this is a fear of Life it seems. Life, in its true form, arises without my ego controlling it. This “my ego not controlling” aspect of life I fear! I am so used to a model of fixing problems rather than sitting with them. I defend myself against the inevitable problems of life rather than accept them and ride them out as part of the stream of life. Can I change this model to one of observing and enjoying the unfolding of life, problems, joys and all? I see how I get stuck in my need to plan, organize and control life. I see a certain rigidity I bring to life. Another illusion, another problem that is not a problem – namely: LIFE.

Shared with love, Gary