Triage Your Challenges

“Don’t go outside yourself and become a victim, go inside and become a master.”

– Yogi Bhajan

We are fragile when we are born and can’t survive without getting food and care from “out there”. As we grow we seek our countless needs from the environment. So naturally, when someone or something bothers us, we “go after” the thing to “fix it.”  It’s a costly mistake we all make.

Shi* Happens. That great piece of modern wisdom reminds us that after we’ve done all we can to take care of ourselves, life often brings the unexpected and unwanted. When it does, don’t react or attack. Don’t take it any more personally than the weather. People act according to their nature and gravity moves stars in their own orbit. It’s not about you. But when it interacts with you, it does affect you. Focus on the effect it is having on YOU.

They didn’t do it “to” you. They were just being themselves. How it impacts you is all about you. And that is something you have more control over. Rather than fight the nature of things, focus FIRST on yourself. What’s really going on? How did this affect me? Why does it bother me? What do I need now? What could I do to make it right for myself, to move on happily?

Our feelings are critical equipment to help in this first step. The self-awareness inquiry is simple. Get as clear and neutral as you can, then ask:

-What am I feeling?

-Why am I feeling this way?

-What do I need to know or do to feel better?

With practice, you can do this quickly and accurately. THEN go “out there” when action is needed, to communicate, rearrange things, to handle it based on your clear desired outcome. This is conscious self-care. It is looking-before-you-leap. It reflects taking full responsibility for your own experience. Though the world won’t always conform and obey your wishes, there is ALWAYS something you can do in any situation to make it better for yourself. There is always a choice. And choice gives you power.

For huge, difficult, life-changing events there are seldom quick fixes. Getting clear can take years. You can be sure that this level of life-challenge is bringing you a major demand to learn, grow and to expand your consciousness. When you approach life from the vast perspective of the soul, you can ask, “Why did I invite this into my life? What will be its value to me long term? What do I not know now, the knowing of which will take me through the block?

These are confronting questions that leave no room for blame or helpless acceptance of fate. At first intimidating but ultimately empowering, this approach trains us to use our ability to create our reality.  Let’s keep learning from each challenge by looking at ourselves first for the pain, the cause and the remedy.

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