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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Problem Solving 101

Missing the Mark

Unrest of spirit is a mark of life; one problem after another presents itself and in the solving of them we can take our greatest pleasure.”
Karl A. Menninger

You may (or may not) have noticed that I didn't post yesterday. I overslept, which means I woke up at 5:30 instead of 5:00; then I spent an hour trying to upload an image of the harvest moon to no avail. I wanted to write about the changing of the season, about the upcoming Equinox, but by the time I spent that hour in the utter frustration of techno-hell, I couldn't write a single word. I just had to go walk Liza in the alleys, and let my head stop boiling. Sometimes, when problems present themselves, we just don't appreciate what a great pleasure it is to solve them; this especially happens when we don't, in fact, solve them.

So, maybe I don't need to write about the change in season (since here in Alabama it isn't changing much—daytime temperatures are still in the 90's with no end in sight). Maybe I wasn't listening to my muse—whoever she is—and launched off on my own ego interests. Clearly, technology is not my problem to solve. Maybe I'm called upon by Spirit, to dig a little deeper than the season and the harvest moon (which, by the way, was spectacular over the weekend, and still is, though it's now waning). The problems to be addressed by such a one as me are problems of a different nature—they are problems of the human spirit, of listening to the stirrings of soul in everyday life. I missed the mark.

It is often as difficult to discover which problems are ours to solve, and which are not ours to solve, as it is to actually solve them. Sometimes, we spend an entire lifetime trying to address someone else's issues, or trying to resolve a problem that happened a long time ago. Usually, this is because we don't want to see, or acknowledge, our own problems in the here and now. Other peoples problems, or problems in the distant past that are no longer resolvable, are a diversion. They keep us in denial about our own issues that are happening right this minute. I can't say there's any pleasure in discovering this, but once we do, there is a much greater likelihood of actually solving the real problem. That will give us pleasure; and not only pleasure, but freedom.

(I hope you grab a chance to see the harvest moon tonight. It's pretty beautiful even at half-staff. Just saying...)

                                                            In the Spirit,


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