At our best, we don’t so much solve our problems as outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us triumphant over many of them.
An example: the luckiest of us sustain few losses early in life. With time the balance begins to shift, often with the departure of friends, but most of us can discover and recover the ability to flourish.
We persist. Moreover, according to Spinoza, the drive to persist appears to be built into us — part of our essence.
Those who understand the conditions of human existence realize tests of our competencies don’t end. These require the development of self-assertion, controlling our emotions, discovering how to persuade others, making and sustaining friendships, and giving up the dependence on defenders because we believe ourselves incapable of self-defense.
The unhappiness following disappointment and loss can stop us if we allow it to become a permanent limitation.
Life gives us many challenges and chances to learn from such situations. Backing off as a strategy invites severe consequences. The problem dominates us, and the impediment grows. The failure and trepidation wait for us to find the bravery inside. They are supremely patient.
If we reach the point of taking on that which defeats us, the dilemma recedes. The Goliath-like stumbling block shrinks, and our strengths increase.
We have grown out of the trouble, taken confidence from victory over the internal issue, and moved on to greater assurance in the capacity to master what comes next. Life may begin to appear less threatening.
Our scope has widened. We are no longer children competing with older kids or adults or humans confronting imaginary giants. Thanks to self-enlargement, our vision might even recognize happiness in the distance or present.
People have no choice but to make peace with life’s demands. Acceptance, gratitude, and the necessity of action are fundamental. Knowing when each of these fits the moment is essential.
The demons within exist side by side with the knowledge to surpass them, awaiting our discovery.
Success needn’t be defined as the acclaim of a crowd. Owning shortcomings and facing what we must do to overcome them achieves self-generated wealth in human, not financial terms: a gift we earn ourselves.
The photo called Happiness is Wellness is the work of GiftedLydia and sourced from Wikimedia Commons.