Wednesday, June 13, 2012


For roughly the first 40 years of my life, I was afraid of bad times. There was probably no more consistent theme in my life than the fear and avoidance of “problems”.  I was a timid and diffident warrior when encountering troubles, and when the troubles arrived -- probably because I was assuming they would – I was often fainthearted in facing them. I treated problems as adversaries, and more often than not they decisively defeated me.  However, in the second half of my life, I have slowly been able to see, to my astonishment, that the disappointments and burdens and sorrows of life are actually significant gifts that I should probably appreciate, and even usher in.  I understand now that problems, far from being my enemies, are actually friends – useful gifts sent from our generous universe to help me solve the puzzles of life. I see the surprising truth that I need these so-called “problems” as badly as my body needs water, for without them I would not be able to understand the flawlessness of the universe in all its unceasing manifestations. Now I try to calmly (and even gratefully, at least in secret) welcome each problem and ask what it has come to teach me. I unreservedly open the door of my heart and say, “Come in, problem or difficulty or setback or stumbling block. I am happy to see you. I have a feeling you are exactly what I need. May I get you a chair?”  

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