Here’s the kind of miraculous aspect to searching for solution. It’s happened over and over to me, in small ways and big ones, in purely material things and things more profound.
If you grew up in an environment where you didn’t see solution being reached – among family or in your own life – you don’t have a frame of reference for knowing how to go looking for what you need, or that solution even exists. Often you don’t even know how to define it. Definitely you don’t know you’re allowed to have something better.
So when you find yourself in an unsatisfactory situation, you don’t know how to get out, or that it’s even possible. But here’s the kind of miracle: you don’t need that knowledge at first. All you need is the belief that there is something better for you, and your emotions and a willingness to accept the truth of them (i.e. not run from them). They lead you to what you need so that you can take the next step towards getting out of your situation.
Think about being in a bad job or relationship. We stay until we can’t take it any more – if we let ourselves feel – and until we realise there is something better for us. It’s the unbearableness of the pain that motivates us to leave and find that something better. Tyrannies are overthrown when the people get angry enough to do something to protect themselves, and when they realise they have the right.
It’s working for me, anyway. My emotions and my beliefs are my tools for moving forward even when I’m not sure what exactly to do – and for not giving up. When I feel strongly it’s only because I need something. If I listen, I instinctively nose around towards that need, because the emotion is uncomfortable. I need the belief that there is solution or something better for me, so that I’ll push through the discomfort and not give up.
It’s taken a long time to be able to put this into practice. Six years. And I’m 55 now. Sometimes I’m sore and angry about that, and sometimes it scares me – but that’s always about the questions “am I a fool” or “does it mean that time has been wasted” or “is there enough time now”. Once I clear that up, and get back on track, I’m pretty excited about life and the potential that lies ahead of me.
If it’s taken me 55 years to get here, well then, here I am. And I have the rest of my life ahead of me. I started out with pretty shocking self-esteem, lousy entitlement, inadequate how-to’s. Judging by my history my life was never going to amount to anything.
What chance would I have had of turning that around if I’d shrugged my shoulders and said “oh well, but what can you do?”
Perish the thought.