Is there such a thing as an unreal problem, a problem that is only posing and is something else in reality?
I think so.
I think sometimes in life we mistake our growing pangs for problems. But I must say in all honesty as a very confused teen and adult my growing pangs became my problems as I tried to figure out who I was and who I wasn’t via drugs, alcohol and my wandering ego.
But sometimes growing pangs make us struggle and that is a good thing. Yet often I would say today they aren’t the same as problems.
Problems need solutions. Growing pangs demand change.
Today when I think of problems I think of paying bills, aging parents, I think of losing one’s mind, I think of addiction and alcoholism and I think of car accidents and knee replacements and bad backs and strokes.
I don’t think of low self-esteem. I don’t think of heart break. I don’t think of not knowing how to love myself.
Yet low self-esteem can be debilitating. Heart break can be crippling. And I find learning to love oneself is the process of being alive.
The stakes are different in life when the edges we find cut more than our heart and draw blood beyond our sense of well-being.
Life is precious. Love is a gift. Loss gives as much as it takes.
I know from my own life how harmful low self-esteem is. I also know from my experience and those of friends and students that the stress and strain of money-pressures, the hardship of conditions like fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s disease and the challenges of caring for aging parents and young children, make growing pangs seem less like problems and more like the challenges of being alive.
So let’s just call this a reality check.
Are your problems growing pangs? Are your growing pangs crippling and becoming problems?
Remember there are always certain aspects of life we can control and other aspects we cannot control. Bottom line is change comes whether we invite it or not. We should take time to count our blessings and know the problems we can solve and the challenges our own life holds.
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Editor: Rachel NussbaumPhoto: Flickr Creative Commons