Step out of a problem if you must solve it!

To even attempt a solution to any problem you are faced with, you need to first step outside of the problem, detaching yourself from it.
Problems don’t have a mind of their own. A problem is a problem because you see it as one. Interestingly, a problem does not even know it exists and does not even know that its existence poses a problem to you!  It is your mind that sees a problem, defines it as big or small and responds with fear, worry and anxiety or, at times, with nonchalance and/or callousness.
Know that you cannot solve a problem by fearing it. Nor can you solve it by being in it! So, really, to solve a problem, and there will be many in Life, you have to step outside the problem. You have to be an observer to your own Life situation and ask yourself what is it that the person in the problem situation must do to solve it? And, interestingly again, if you can step outside and be an observer of your own Life, the most profound awakening__that you have to do nothing about anything__will sweep you in its wake! Yet, while this may be a very simpler way of looking at Life, despite being an observer, you may want to and be inclined to pursue some action on a practical plane. At least you will want to attempt something. Do that by all means, but do that dispassionately. Focusing only on what needs to get done. Go about attempting your solution in a clinical sort of way. Don’t engage with any emotion. Work with the spirit of – “some things have to be done, let’s just do them”. Period.
Let’s say you are struggling with a relationship issue. It’s been going on for years. Nothing has worked between the two of you. Yet every time you propose a solution, speak with a voice of reason, you have been ridiculed. You have been ostracized in the family. And each episode has only grown your grief. The relationship is a burden that you carry with you. You are tired, want to be free and in peace. So, why not step out of the situation? Ask yourself, what would you have done if you were looking at this from the outside and advising someone else? Well, possibly, you would have advised a complete breakaway between the two people who find each other difficult to deal with. Sure. But please also advocate the separation without any bitterness. You can even advise a legal separation when two spouses are involved. But what do you do in a mother-son or a brother-sibling relationship? At best you can advise, just walking away.
Understand that sometimes, some things, including close relationships will not work out in Life. Time changes. People change. So, it’s best to leave the other person to herself or himself. Just stay away. No resolution is needed. No treaty is to be signed. Face it: the relationship isn’t working out. So be it. Let it be. You don’t spoil your peace and don’t spoil the peace of the other party too. This may not make the relationship any better but it solves the problem that’s arisen from the relationship issue.
Now contrast this approach with the conventional one where you try remaining engaged in the relationship and therefore bring in emotions into play while also attempting a resolution. Some typical responses: Why should I walk away? I have done nothing wrong. Why can’t that person understand? Isn’t it basic common sense that we can’t continue to behave like juveniles? What about the future, what if we spar again? The issue will never get resolved this way. It will only get vitiated. Because either party will want to prove that she or he is right. The egos are hurt. So each one will fight back.
Wishing problems away or attempting to solve them when you are in its throes is not going to make any problem easier to solve! While, as I said, the best approach is to let problems be, even as you too just be, if you must at all attempt a solution, do it by detaching yourself from the situation. Intelligent living is continuously making a conscious choice on when to act on and when to accept Life. Dealing with problems, interestingly, requires a bit of both __ action and acceptance!

Worship Your Divinity!

Recognize how sacred you are and worship your divinity.
There’s so much focus on an external God that we humans have all but conceded that we are mere pawns in this game called Life! While it is important to follow our individual faith and respect the traditions in which we have been raised, it is equally crucial for us not to feel unworthy.  
Just consider you upbringing. You have been told that God is all powerful. That God hates sinners. And that you must keep doing good to stay blessed. So, all along, the reference point is something external. And when things go wrong, as they often do, you believe that your solutions too has to come from an outside source! As you grow up you do get a whiff of wisdom and realize that it is perhaps possible that the energy that powers the Universe, that keeps you alive, is inside of you. And that energy is possibly the God that everyone refers to and is looking for. Yet years of conditioning cannot possibly be dismissed by few moments of epiphany.
Also consider the experiences when you have possibly encountered people who, while appearing to be incapable of divinity (at least as perceived by us), are able to provide phenomenal insights to intelligent living. Your logical, re-doubting mind often wonders if such people have an axe to grind or are charlatans! Fundamentally, while we humans crave that the Gods we worship, in temples and churches and mosques and gurudwaras, open their eyes and grant us our wishes, we have a serious problem believing and trusting when God, finally, speaks, especially in human form!
Seek Within and You shall find
During some specially trying times, a few years ago, my wife and I went to meet a Siddha yogi. We were referred to him by a close friend. When we reached his place, on the outskirts of Chennai, we were quite startled to find him dressed in a lungi and vest, standing outside on the street and smoking a beedi. He politely requested us to go inside and be seated. He took his own time finishing his smoke and later joined us. As soon as he sat down in front of us, he said, “Is your problem your debt?” We were dumbfounded. Startled. Shocked. We had not spoken to him about anything. Nor had we introduced ourselves. And here he was, putting his finger on exactly the same issue that confronted us, our enormous debt and our struggling business! How was that possible, we wondered? But the yogi had no intention to allow us time to marvel at his abilities. He continued quickly, even as I mumbled saying yes, “Sir, your problem is not your debt. Your problem is how you are dealing with your debt. You are hating your debt. So, it bothers you. Instead love your debt. It has come into your Life to teach you something. Learn you lessons. And be sure that when you learn them your debt will go away just the way it came into your Life. All our problems in Life can be solved ONLY when we look within and find our OWN answers.” With that our meeting ended.
We found his answer too simplistic. I remember telling my wife as I got into our car that the man is either too naïve or is a charlatan! Now, when I look back I realize how stupid, fickle and uncharitable I had been. Because the yogi had not called us, we went to him. He did not ask for money. He did not prescribe a tantric ritual or a series of prayers. All he said was look within and advised us to learn our lessons while loving the problem that had invited itself over in our Life! Over the years I have found only his approach working for us. Our problems remain where they are. Even so, our ability to deal with them have grown phenomenally because we have learned to love them and continue to learn from them. The yogi has also become a close personal friend who has taught us another important perspective to Life: “Worship the divinity within you. Face Life. All your solutions, to problems that confound you, are within. Seek within and you shall find them”!
In our case, it was our debt. Your story and your problem situation may be different. But whatever the problem may be, I am sure, this awakening perspective will certainly apply to you too.
It really is as simple as it sounds. Life is not complicated. We make it so by failing to recognize our own divinity!