Sometimes Life’s problems will confound you. It could be a relationship tangle, a financial situation, a health crisis or a professional challenge. You will find, to your dismay, that whatever solution you attempt will just not work. Because some things are simply not meant to be.
I recently met a man who is a master of his craft. He’s an extremely successful chef at a leading hospitality chain. We got talking. And I politely enquired about his family. He laughed heartily.
Taking a deep breath, he replied: “I have been married thrice. I got divorced twice. And widowed once. I have a 20-year-old autistic son who lives me. So, that’s my family!”
I felt sorry I had asked him that question. But he showed no signs of discomfort. Just so that we made the conversation easier, I remarked: “Oh! I am sorry. Must be tough on you. But you seem to be very enthusiastic about Life!”
He said: “Sorry? Don’t be. I have realized that I cannot have a regular, normal family that many others have. I have accepted that companionship is not part of my Life’s scene! Raising my son as a single parent has been difficult but I don’t complain anymore. My problems go through me! I don’t go through any problems. Not anymore!”
His simple, matter-of-fact attitude is very inspiring. Indeed. Isn’t that a practical way to look at Life? We normally respond to Life’s challenges with a sense of shock and dismay. We always lament about Life and wonder how difficult it is to go through the problems we are faced with. But here my chef friend has flipped the paradigm. His sense of acceptance has made him unflappable! There’s a learning here for us too. When you grieve over the Life you have you suffer. But when you accept it, while there may be pain, there will be no suffering. Perhaps, you may want to try this chef’s recipe for ‘non-suffering’: “let your problems go through you; you simply accept what is.”