Most of us having something we’re searching for.A different body. A better marriage. A fatter bank-account. Less anxiety. More confidence. Less shame.
I don’t know about you but for years I spent a lot of time chasing the specific things I was after. Looking for solutions to what I perceived as the problems of my life. That’s where self-help books and strategies came in.
But what if the solutions to the challenges that we’re chasing are not where we’re looking?
Here’s a specific example:
Throughout my life I’ve been, shall we say, financially challenged. Always living paycheque to paycheque, without savings and sometimes without the means to pay my bills. Part of this is rooted in the decade-long fixation I had on earning a living writing fiction, which didn’t work out, financially at least. It left me deeply in debt and, financially worse off in my early 50s than I was in my early 20s.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about money and thinking about ways to solve the problems I feel I’ve created. This chase is oriented outside myself.
I’m like a hound dog on the scent, tail up, nose down, galloping along trying to find the thing I’m looking for. My logical brain says that once I find that thing – in this example, financial stability – I’ll feel at peace and whole.
What if we’re already whole?
We chase the wind, trying to find solutions to what we believe is broken inside us. But what if there’s no need for that chase at all?
If action was the answer, wouldn’t we be fixed by now? I lost track a long time ago of the number of self-help books I’ve read. Those well-intentioned books and authors only caused me to be more focused on my perceived brokenness. The list of strategies I employed to manage my feelings and change my behavior became so extensive it could have filled a book of its own.
For self-help junkies like us, the search, the chase, can become almost addictive. It feels like we have to be doing something in order to create positive change in our lives.
Set the problem down
Since coming across the Three Principles, what I keep being reminded of is that when I feel I have a ‘problem’ the solution is to set it down.
That seems counter-intuitive, and sometimes it’s very hard to convince my brain, which loves solving problems, to let things go and stop trying to fix them. But again and again, I’m reminded that chasing answers isn’t the answer. Ironically the chase ends up leading us farther away from what we seek.
Wisdom always lies inside us. It is always there for us. No matter what.
What I seem to need most to learn is to stop chasing around outside myself and instead slow down, wait, and listen.When you have a problem to solve, are you able to see the wisdom in not chasing the answer? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.