The other day, a friend asked me to pick up some books for her. Well…over 600 books. I drive a small car. An even smaller voice whispered to me: “I don’t feel comfortable putting over 600 books in my car. This will not end well.”
Alas, since the voice inside of me was much smaller than my car, I psychically “shushed” the voice and picked up the books.
The next morning my rear tire was flat, like Flat Stanley flat.
The problem might externally look like a flat tire that needs nothing more than a replacement; the problem might sound like a headache: calling AAA, waiting at a tire store for hours, and finally, getting that new tire installed.
All of the above is correct, but there’s a larger problem, one that has reared its head in many forms in these decades of my life on this floating planet: ignoring that small voice.
I’m not angry with my friend for asking me to pick up the books; I’m angry with myself for not heeding that small voice. I’m angry at myself because this is far from the first time that I’ve chosen to help another while ignoring my intuition.
Recognizing the problem, the REAL problem, is when growth can take place. The problem is the portal to changing our self-sabotaging habits or triggers. According to Counselor and Instructor, (Core Belief Engineering) Lisa Sidorowicz:
“Imagine for a minute that your “problems” are actually portals to resolution and healing…. Imagine not having to turn away from them anymore, but stepping into them…transforming your issues and getting beyond them.”
If we think of our problems as opportunities, as breadcrumbs on a trail to understand ourselves instead of something to avoid at all costs, we can actually dissolve the problems themselves.
In the case of the flat tire, the tire will get fixed, and I will drive again. But the source of the problem, the issue of ignoring my inner voice, a habit I have grooved into my subconscious when it comes to pleasing others, is no longer present. By stepping INTO the problem, I have journeyed through the core issue itself (putting others before myself) and come out the other side (honoring my inner voice).
So, the next time you are facing a problem, consider it deeper than its face value. Ask yourself:
What’s going on here that’s shown up in different forms before?
What is the core issue I am avoiding and need to face?
When we embrace discomfort, we find our pain offers a clue to our healing.