The good thing about problems
Aug. 25, 2017
by Ivan Raconteur

I recently had a conversation with a wise friend who I respect and admire, and as often happens, she left me with a profound statement.

We had been conversing about a challenge I was facing and she had generously shared some resources and helpful advice, based in part on similar challenges she has faced.

When I expressed my appreciation for her assistance, she noted she was glad to be able to help, and observed “The good thing about having problems is that you can help other people with problems, too.”

What a delightfully refreshing outlook.

So often, when people are faced with difficulties, they use them as an excuse.

They point to the challenge and proclaim this is why they haven’t been able to accomplish some objective.

No matter what the circumstances, they say all their problems are the fault of this trouble they are facing.

It may have nothing whatsoever to do with the failure, but the “victim” refuses to acknowledge that.

Sometimes, people who are facing misfortune feel sorry for themselves.

They may fail to see difficulties others are experiencing, because they cannot or will not see beyond their own situation.

Still others may become bitter, and let their bitterness color their lives, and those of everyone around them.

My astral friend’s simple statement reminds us there’s another choice.

She sees challenges not as excuses, or justifications, but as opportunities.

Instead of focusing on how the obstacle is inconveniencing her, or making her life more difficult, she sees it as an opportunity to use what she has learned to help others.

Instead of focusing on limitations, she concentrates on possibilities.

Imagine how much warmer and happier the world would be if more people followed this commendable course.

My sidereal friend often enlightens me in this way.

She frequently shows me by word or example that although we may not be able to control what life throws at us, we ALWAYS have a choice in how we respond to it.

I confess I haven’t always been willing to embrace this lesson immediately. I’m frequently cynical and cantankerous, but experience has proved she is right.

When I have doubted this, my friend has patiently and gently, yet firmly guided me to see the light.

If we make the choice to respond to a situation in a positive, rather than negative way, the outcome is always better for everyone concerned.

I feel extremely fortunate to receive such thoughtful counsel from one who is so wise.

I’m a slow learner, and I may sometimes stumble along the path, but I aspire to follow my friend’s shining example and look for opportunities rather than obstacles.

Instead of wallowing in misfortune, I’ll strive to find ways to help others.

We’re constantly exposed to examples of people engaged in tearing others down instead of building them up.

That’s not the kind of world I want to live in, and that’s not the kind of person I want to be.

We are all faced with choices every day. It’s up to each of us to make the right ones.

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