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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Internal Solutions for External Problems and Agency Over Our Lives

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Internal Solutions for External Problems and Agency Over Our Lives

Usually when something is going wrong in our lives,  if we are going to address it,  we first look to change it from the outside.  We look to change the person, place, situation, relationship, routine.   We are convinced that while we could look at our attitudes or perceptions or behaviors, really, something external has got to be different.

And sometimes that is true.  We need things to change.  Sometimes they can change.  Sometimes external problems need external solutions.

But sometimes, we need an internal solution to an external problem.  We need to slow way down and take a second look at how we see things, how we and others experience them.  We need to get curious about our convictions, our assumptions, our beliefs about why things are going the way they are going.

Its not about assigning or reassigning blame.  It's not about blame at all, actually.  And in fact, when we can take the blame out, even just for a little while, we can discover so much more about ourselves, and about what we need and feel and believe.  And moreover, we can come to a new agency over our lives that is not dependent on something or someone being different, or in fact, on any outside shift.

We can open ourselves up to what the meaning might be for us, on our journey, in this life.  We can shine a spiritual light on things, and wonder what we might glean from our struggles, our pain, our circumstances.  And how experiencing them differently might make all the difference.

I'm not suggestion that we stay in unhealthy or harmful situations, but I'm saying that we can often be surprised at how much internal definition we can find and how relieving that can be when  we work with how we experience others, how others experience us, and not just what we take for granted as facts  - or what we believe on a surface level.

We can go not only deeper, but broader, to what other possible experiences might be like.  We can risk some vulnerability for the sake of discovering  more of our authenticity and fortitude.  We can work it out inside and that can be life changing.

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