Growing Beyond Our Problems

“I had always worked with the temperamental conviction that at bottom there are no insoluble problems, and experience justified me in so far as I have often seen patients simply outgrow a problem that had destroyed others. This 'outgrowing,' as I formerly called it, proved on further investigation to be a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the patient's horizon, and through this broadening of his outlook the insoluble problem lost its urgency.”

Carl Gustav Jung

Consider that whatever problems you face now are temporary. You may stay stuck in them if you maintain your same level of consciousness, but if you are willing to broaden your outlook, they may dissolve like the morning mist.

It is comfortable to keep our usual way of thinking and behaving, but when we cling to our old ways, we do not change and we do not grow. It is only when we have the courage to face our fears that we grow. We must step beyond our comfort zone and extend ourselves. When we do this, we may experience growing pains. It is frightening and sometimes painful to move outside our comfort zone, to try things we have never done before, but once we do that and have some success, we may find that the old problems no longer matter.

The solution to anxiety is to face the fear. When we move through our fears, they may no longer torment us. Once we attain mastery over them, they no longer matter. Much of the difficulty we experience is from our efforts to not have to face our fears, to not have to experience suffering.

When you are afraid, instead of running away, remember that you are being given the opportunity to overcome your fear. Adversity carries with it the gift of growth.  Should you fail to deal with your fear, take heart, because you will always have another opportunity. Your fundamental life problems will likely present themselves again until you outgrow them. Rather than hiding from the problems that you fear, look closely at them. Meditate upon them. See them from the perspective of that witness that is not ego, but that is deeper, more real and more responsive to the reality of the situation.

To the Meditation Archive Menu

To the current Meditation of the Week


© 2008 Tom Barrett