The source of our problems...

It would seem we have two kinds of problems:

1) Self induced.
2) Those that blindside us for which we are not responsible but have to walk through any way. 

With regard to self-induced problems, we have a sort of responsibility amnesia because there is a lag between our actions and the result of our actions.  For example eating two bowls of chips and salsa at your favorite restaurant won't immediately put weight on you, but months of not watching what you eat will. Or being surprised that a lifestyle with no financial, schedule or energy margin, leaves you broke, depleted and frustrated. Or neglecting relationships, then feeling lonely when they aren't available for you. Or indulging in self-destructive relationships and activities and then wondering why you aren't living a healthy, fulfilling life.

Our blindness about this compounds when we aren't honest with ourselves or the people we tell the story to.

Side note: I think many people seeking help aren't honest about the whole story. We present edited versions of ourselves to almost everyone around us. If you are in counseling and seeing no progress check your honesty level.  If you are being totally open and still seeing no progress, then fire that counselor and get a new one.

Without honesty we feel like things are happening to us rather than seeing that we are living the life we are creating.

As for the blindsides, these are typically big, catastrophic events that touch more than just you.  Like a cancer diagnosis, suicide of a loved one, an affair, disaster, a car wreck...

In both sets of problems there is pain. The challenge is when we confuse the two.

If we don't see our responsibility in the self-induced problems, then we live a life playing victim.
If we erroneously take responsibility for the blindsides, then we become filled with false guilt making ourselves crazy as we live hyper-vigilant to protect from future hurt.

If you are suffering, it takes wisdom to see what type of suffering you are under. Self-induced suffering doesn't happen overnight and will take the daily discipline of incremental changes over time to break old patterns in order to build something different.  The blindsides are different and quite frankly are the things that shape us. There the challenge is to stay open and walk through the pain, resisting the temptation to anesthetize, become bitter or shut down.

The thing about the blindsides is that they heal. The thing about self-induced problems is that as long as we stay blind, they never will.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall