The Issue With “Issues”

It’s a dogma of contemporary self-help that “issues” are real things that are lodged in our psyche and that we need to actively work to dislodge them to experience well-being.

But it’s more accurate to say that “issues” are comprised of recurring thoughts that once understood as such resolve themselves through a natural self-correcting process.

Internal distress or suffering is a sign that our thinking has veered into unproductive territory. If I’m feeling anxious, worried about life, money, work, I am using the power of thought to create an anxious experience. That anxiousness is unrelated to circumstances.

That anxiousness is unrelated to circumstances, and it is not anchored to or connected to anything permanent or fixed in my psyche. In other words, as soon as my thoughts changed, so will my anxiousness.

And since thought is ephemeral by nature, and since the mind is self-correcting by nature, thoughts will change and so will our experience.

Once we understand this, we can look towards the natural capacity of our psyche to correct towards balance, clarity and deeper understanding. We stop obsessing

But when we think distress is more than a sign of temporary imbalanced thinking — when we think, for example, it is a sign of deeper “issues” or that our life circumstances are at fault — it starts to make sense to dive deeper into the difficult thoughts, to study and solve them, to examine their roots and causes.

That inquiry has us dwelling on our past, on our grievances, on our circumstances.

We can get so wrapped up in that, we forget we all have a natural process that restores us to well-being and gives us the capacity to move forward with life, without our having to “do” anything.  It’s just how we are wired.

Well-being is at the core of each of us, untarnished and unbreakable. That well-being is continually emerging for us in each moment, in the form of fresh wisdom, insights, understanding and ideas, that give us what we need to navigate life.

Yes we experience stress and suffering. But that’s how the system wakes us up and keeps us healthy. It’s how we know our thoughts are imbalanced and that it is time to look inwards, towards our innate, built-in, well-being for fresh ideas.

We can move forward, knowing wisdom and well-being are at the core of our nature and will see us through. It’s natural process, and we can count on it.