Lessons of Life © Kosjenka Muk
A quote is attributed to Einstein that we cannot manage a problem at the same level of thought from which we created it. This is specifically notable in relation to emotional problems and the life situations which we create.
Often we are caught within a disappointing circle of emotional impulses and thoughts directed toward a change of outer situations or even other people; we make rational choices, which then we usually either delay or suffer due to contradictory emotions within us, which can make it impossible to even make a decision.
Every one of these impulses, emotions and thoughts contain an atom of truth and an atom of healthy and justifiable desires but not one of them contains the wider picture. Before we deal with the beliefs and emotions that limit us, each of these impulses periodically seems to us accurate and realistic.
After we heal ourselves of limitations and, which is particularly important, integrate our lost and forgotten qualities and parts of out true being, we can comprehend the saying of a Zen Master: the opposite to truth is in fact truth. We can look at the situation with a deeper understanding and insight, and what is more important, without limitations that hinder us. At that moment the answer is obvious and within itself understandable, similarly in a way as when we observe other people who wrestle with their own problems.
For example, perhaps you are unsatisfied with the quality of your personal relationship. Maybe within yourself there is a battle between anger, love, defiance, fear, thoughts like: ‘he/she is better than many others…. and better to be with him/her than alone… but he/she does not value or recognize me as much as I desire… but in some situations he is very caring… the question is if I would be able to find what I desire if ended this relationship… but I still desire much more than this relationship can give me…’
Trying to change another person or our outer environment, or to make a rational decision for the sake of making it, is quite an unsuccessful method in resolution of problems. Even if it works (which is usually only temporarily) the internal problem remains unresolved, emotions unhealed, lost parts of us remain unintegrated, and we will quite quickly create, or will be attracted to, a similar situation, or similar feelings, as before until we finally turn to our self and toward resolving the cause of the problem.
Traumatic experiences and toxic relations cause “fissures” in the personality, as some parts are thrown away in order to make space for limited beliefs (often what is thrown away are positive qualities amongst which in first place is self-esteem), others are repressed and remain immature (uncomfortable feelings), whilst others develop and create a mask of a compensatory nature (e.g. aggressiveness, playing victim, and sometimes even positive qualities may be developed as a mask, such as an overt intellectualism, sexuality or humor…)
After we resolve our limited beliefs we can then integrate, for example, lost feelings of self respect, optimism, the inner feeling of happiness. Only then it may become obvious to us, depending upon the situation we find ourselves in, that we were, for example, reacting strongly to little things which we can manage through honesty and calm conversation, or perhaps that we truly neglected ourselves out of fear that we do not deserve what we really want, or that we cannot find anything better.
Maybe we have rationally understood this much earlier, but similarly- as when one tries to guide a friend toward a rational and positive resolution to his/her problem- the same emotions and fears would reemerge that kept us back. Attempting to choose between the rational and emotional, between one emotion and another, is a maddening job. Until we do not reach a degree of integration from which our being can feel and act as a whole at a new level of maturity and healthiness. That is truly a quantum leap in consciousness.
The problem with this is that it is very easy to belittle our own contribution to the problem, to act after immature emotions which in such moments seem very realistic, and put off their resolution ‘for later’. In such delaying we can spend years and even decades in unnecessary frustrations, instead of utilizing that time for advancing and creating a happy and healthy life.