There is no doubt it is easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and problems and fail to see the many great things going on around us. But sometimes, problems that are bigger than our own, such as Hurricane Sandy help us to take a moment to consider the larger reality, and use it as a means of regaining our perspective. With the right perspective, any problem becomes either solvable or acceptable. Here’s a current relevant example:
Your problem: Your bills are stacking up so high you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to overcome them. This in turn is affecting your relationship and it seems like life is in a real downward spiral
The larger reality: The hurricane left at least 8 million people without electricity, some cities are literally under water. Not to mention in the bigger picture over 150,000 people die every day on this planet.
So how does your problem look now?
You must keep a realistic perspective: We’re all going to die sometime. Let someone else’s problem or even the thought of death serve as a reminder that your time here is limited too. Many people who experience what appears to be an insurmountable problem eventually recognize it as a wake-up call.
When it comes to your relationships, they are complicated and sometimes unpredictable. They don’t always turn out the way you’d expect. It’s possible to make no mistakes and still see your relationship come to an end. By all means make every reasonable effort to salvage your relationship if it still has value for both of you, but if your relationship still isn’t working, then let go with love. And if you’ve already broken up, then let go of the blame and bitterness, and simply forgive yourself and your ex-partner. Even if your partner betrayed you in some way, recognize that you aren’t perfect either. Guess what… you’re both human, and it’s OK that your relationship didn’t last forever. Nothing ever does.
Your personal problems are like icebergs. Perhaps 5% of them can actually be seen by others in external reality. The other 95% are in your imagination. But unlike real icebergs, your imagined portion is subject to your conscious control. You can feed your problems with fear and turn them into gigantic threats, or you can shrink them by broadening your perspective. When you artificially inflate your problems, you reduce your ability to solve them. But when you shrink them in your mind, they soon become relatively easy to either solve or accept.
Sometimes the real solution to your problem is not very difficult at all. You just over complicate it in your imagination. All it takes is someone outside the situation to inject some reality. Someone close to you passed away? Grieve, get over it, and move on. You and your spouse have become irreparably incompatible? Move out and get a divorce. You just got laid off? Get a new job, or start your own business. You’re broke, deeply in debt, and have no way to pay your bills? File for bankruptcy; maybe lose your home. Diagnosed with terminal cancer? Do your best to find a reason and a way to live, but if that doesn’t work out, then put your affairs in order and say, “sionara.”
Many common problems have fairly simple solutions, but if your problem has no workable solution, then it’s simply a fact to be accepted. There’s no need to get all whiny and mopey about it. Cry your way through it if you must, curse the universe for its cruelty and unfairness, but in the big scheme of things, it’s really no big deal. You’re one among billions, and your problem just isn’t that special, regardless of how important you think you are.