Sometimes we wish we were more like ducks. The feathers of a duck are waterproof.
They are covered with an oil secreted by the duck which creates a waterproof barrier. Of course, in this analogy we are talking about something more than the elimination of umbrellas.
Metaphorically speaking, life rains down challenges on us on a daily basis. Some people are more duck like. When an issue arises, they examine their options, chose one and proceed with the solution. Most importantly, their level of reaction and response is commensurate with the seriousness of the issue. They are pretty waterproofed from overreacting.
Then there are the rest of us. When even a small issue arises, we often overreact. In our minds we visualize the most negative outcome possible. As a result we frequently walk around in a state of negativity. Our interactions with others becomes charged with temperamental language. Until there is a resolution, we can spend countless hours in unnecessary rumination.
Part of sobriety is recognizing when we are sliding down that slippery slope of overreacting to a challenge. When we are able to put the brakes on our thinking, we have entered into a new level of awareness and consciousness.
Personal Reflection: Do I tend to make problems out of challenges?
When we were younger and in school, many of us struggled with certain subjects. In particular, math was a stumbling block which we had to grapple with. We were so happy when we finally got thru algebra, geometry or trigonometry. We rejoiced in that we would never have to confront math problems again.
Perhaps we should have paid a little more attention in class to the topic of percentages. Often, we still seem to be mixed up around them. When it comes to life problems and their solutions the correct distribution of energy has eluded us. We focus the majority of our attention on the problem. We obsess about it, turning it over and over in our minds for days on end. When we finally have had enough of this behavior we will make a hasty decision on the solution. It’s math class all over again. We have our percentages reversed. Yes, we have to admit that we have a problem and examine it. However, the bulk of our energy needs to be spent on the solution. When we do so, we have a much greater chance of selecting a resolution that will ultimately improve our lot in life. That my friend is the new math.
Personal Reflection: Am I a student of the new math?
Many people in the world live in the problem. They constantly find themselves embroiled in arguments and issues with others. Now it is true that all of us face problems. However some of us almost go out of our way to find problems or to cause them. These are the people who open their mouths when they should keep them shut. They are the people who even when given an opportunity to extricate themselves from a problem, will choose to dive back in. Unfortunately there is also a lot of denial emanating from problem dwellers. Even when others point out their role in the drama, they find it almost impossible to admit their part. Alcohol, drugs and food are often sought to solve their challenges and only end up exacerbating them.
In the program we learn that we no longer need to dwell in the problem. Over time we begin to carve out a new piece of real estate; living in the solution. When we are confronted with challenges, we search out solutions. Part of the reason we are able to do so is that the program has provided us with a new set of tools. It definitely feels better to be in the solution as opposed to the problem.
Personal Reflection: Am I truly living in the solution?