We live not in bed of roses. We sometimes experience thorns along the way. Life is beautiful when we don’t have problems isn’t? However, it can also be as devilish as hell when we encounter limiting and painful experiences. I can say that people have problems in two ways: direct and indirect ways.
The direct way for me means that the person has chosen to have one; he willed it! He knows from the start that if he indulges in a particular situation, he might find himself in the middle of a great trouble as a consequence to his action. Like a person who started smoking, he knows personally that this bad habit of smoking may bring him in having illness such as cancer. In short, he chose it and he knows that he might have a problem in the near future. The other source of problem is through an indirect way: problems which we didn’t actually choose. This kind of problem is usually an environmental or a relational problem. When we say it is environmental, the outside surroundings are involved and thus, a vital cause of the problem: they can be people and events in life. Like in the case of an innocent person who was accused of killing and ended up behind the bars of a city jail. He didn’t do the criminal act but he was pointed by the authority.
People oftentimes blame all problems to destiny. They rationalize and use ‘God’s will’ remark as an escape goat to blame. The phrase kagustuhan lahat ito ng Diyos can be misleading in a way. If we look intently with our problems, they are most of the time consequences of our own selfish acts. They are not really “kagustuhan ng Diyos” but our own willful plans. We need to remember that God will not put us down or devise a selfish plan for our own destruction. Divine plan will always be good and beneficial to and for His people.
Although we have a very positive outlook in life, we nonetheless can be attacked by a negative mindset every time we have problems. People who have problems go to persons who can help them solve their issues and problems in life. They often go to counselors, therapists, religious persons or to a pastor (but most of the time we go to our friends, one chat away from us). When I have problems, I usually go to my spiritual director, to a priest. I feel the loving presence of God every time I converse with my spiritual director as if the very words of God come out from the mouth of the priest. You, where are you going every time you have one? If being none, probably, this is the right time to have one.
We need a lot of courage to move on in life. Every time we experience limiting and painful experiences, we pray that we may have enough courage to overcome all these trials in life; and we realize that the change we desire begins within ourselves and that we are the solution to our own problems. The one who created such a mess is the same person who can solve it (of course with through the help of others). We need change! Change can be the important ingredient in having a better life. Change can mean to cut or turn away from our bad habit of choosing what is evil or not good for us. We all desire to live in this world happily and meaningfully; and we can only do that the moment we convince ourselves to change for the better. A conversion of mindset and will in our lives can be a great step to solve our problems in life.
Change can also be the most painful experience or decision that we can have in life. To turn away from bad habits that you are used to do is indeed painful; but you need to do this because there is no other way around. Change begins in us. We often ask for change in our environment but we overlooked that to attain change, we must begin in ourselves. It shouldn’t take a new year for you to start making changes in your life. There are times throughout our lives when we think about how we can change, whether it’s to become a better person or simply just to be happy in life. We can solve our problems if we are will it. It takes a lot of conviction and faith: faith in yourself that you can have a better tomorrow and most of all faith in God, the One who knows you and created you. To solve our problems, we need change, change not later, tomorrow or next year, it must be now.
-Fiel Pareja, MPM