26 January 2006

Life as a problem

Thanks to a personal situational dilemma, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking on what it is about relationships that makes them difficult or easy, how do two people relate to each other and why, and how does one know the right answers?

After much thinking, contemplation, and excessive turmoil I realized several things all at once. For one - the popular adage - "life is not a problem to be solved" rang more true than ever before. Then, I realized that the problem of life cannot be solved. Life is not and cannot be devoid of problem. This is irrespective of whether someone is alone or in a relationship.

In a relationship, it becomes easier to externalize the cause of problems and hence feel improsoned ("If it were not for this other person I could have..."). But the fact remains that whether it be a person or a thing, we continue to be bound and in trouble in our lives. If it were not for that person we would probably be limited by our attachment to our surroundings, friends, environment, or ambitions.

So eventually what one needs to emphasize in one's life are not the solutions to life's problems but instead the approach that one takes towards solving them. Just the very realization and acknowledgement of the fact that life is complex and riddled with problems and that it is it's nature to be so makes it easier to handle/face/accept/deal with adversity.

So in understanding my approach to dealing with problems I realized that like solving any other problem I first need to lay down some ground rules. For me these turn out to be having good healthy relationships, strong personal values, and a family that sticks together through thick and thin. Once that was understood, it dawned that I was asking the wrong question all along. Given what cannot be given up, one comes up with new ways of thinking and mindset of holding on to that which one does not want to let go.

It has helped me for now. I do realize that adversity deepens the doubt and I have some rough times ahead of me. But I am hoping and praying that the evolution of my understanding will keep pace with my growing confusions and doubts.