Saturday, November 20, 2010

Creation, Not Problem Solving

As little children we are taught to act on our behalf – make decisions. If you don’t like the channel – change it. If the big dog on that street scares you on your way home from school – go down a different street. And we take that into adulthood. If you don’t like that doctor – get a different one. If that person annoys you – stop seeing them.

We have been brought up to be problem solvers. Problem solving is taking action to make something go away. Even after having probably spending a good part of our time and energy as problem solvers, we have probably all figured out that if that really worked – if that’s all it took - we would live in a world where no one bothers us, no situations cause us anxiety or concern.

This belief – that changing the things in the outer will bring us peace or fulfillment inside – is one we may still be holding on to, but not really successful in bringing about what we are really yearning for – on the heart or soul level.

We hold onto something long after it has benefitted us, at the price of our happiness and freedom. We know that in order to make room for something better to come into our lives, we need to let go of something.

At some point we all have to let go of how we used to do things. It’s like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. Otherwise we are stuck. We see this in the natural world and it is the same within us. If we only breathed in and never breathed out – we would die. We are surrounded by evidence of this, and yet we are so reluctant to embrace this truth and work with it. We want to hold on. We don’t want to change.

Change……I’m all for change. When it’s my decision – I love it. When I am in charge of the change – that’s OK too. When I like the change – great.

But I have observed that sometimes change happens like this: Two frogs are stuck in a deep rut in an old hard dirt road. They try and try to get out. One finally succeeds and bids the other one goodbye. Later they meet each other at the pond. “I’m glad to see you but I thought you couldn’t jump out.” said the first frog. The other frog replied, “I couldn’t, but then a truck came along and I had to.”

And isn’t that the truth? Often time we change only when we have to. When life squeezes us so tightly that it grabs our attention and we are forced to look deeply within.

Inner change is transformation, not problem solving. Transformation is taking what we have, letting go of the dross and keeping the gold. It is bringing something new into being.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, said, “Involution always precedes evolution”. We must first work on ourselves and then, from that place of wholeness and centeredness we will know what to ‘do’ in the outer.