Problems are a gift for the imagination


Don’t force solutions. Let them find you.

Problems may beg to be solved, but they have another, more interesting purpose: to prick our curiosity and wake us from a slumber of sameness and complacency. To hint at the hidden dimensions that lie beneath the surfaces of everyday life.

Problems prod us to soften into the unknown. Or to stand on our head, turn sideways, and see reality — or what we think is reality – afresh. Old ways of coping, of sliding by, no longer work. We are invited to give up control of the eventual outcome, and for that we need to call upon imagination.

But we must not approach directly, for imagination is shy, elusive, best courted from oblique angles, on the knees, bearing gifts. Flowers. Chocolate. Wonder. Beauty. Love awakens imagination, tickles its fancy. Sincerity works, too. Anxiety, fear, and impatience are off-putting to her. She recoils, tightens up into a ball. While we’re at it, pounding fists on the doors of a problem is generally counter-productive.

To divine source, problems are party invitations. She knows I am at my best when faced with a challenge. It’s when everything kicks into gear and I can shine – if I allow myself to. The trick is to relax. I must almost not care how it gets resolved, or even if it does. I do best when I consider the whole thing as a treasure hunt, a game. Even the very word, “problem,” takes on new meaning.

Or maybe I need a different word entirely. When the veil between worlds flutters, its stirring creates problems, as when Raven steals a new bear cub and gives him to a human family to raise as a boy. Problems are an invitation to deeper connection, to a new awareness of the Oneness of All That Is. And to wonder at its intricacies, at the patters and order that I can feel in my very cells, but that are mind-bendingly vast, complex, and magnificent. It’s more than my intellect can process but it’s great food for my imagination.

Indeed, a problem is an announcement that if I approach with a light touch and humility, a bit more of this grand pattern — a tiny, glittering, precious facet — will be revealed to me. And I will bow my head in awe, and thank the divine creator for my problems.


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