Miracle #19 - Let Me Recognize My Problems Have Been Solved

Photo credit:     Michael Jasmund

Photo credit:
Michael Jasmund

A Course in Miracles says that "if you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems".

As humans we constantly think that we have problems, and we constantly think that it is our duty to solve them.

We are taught that this is "being responsible".

We spend a lot of time and energy figuring out what is wrong and then trying to fix it and make it right. 

As a student of ACIM, I have learned that it is actually the attempt to solve problems that keeps us stuck in the problem.

It is the perspective that we even have problems to begin with that creates so much anxiety and struggle for many people. When you tell someone who is not happy with the state of their health or the state of their finances, that they actually have no problems, it makes them angry! They want to show you how everything in their life is wrong.

It is taking these "problems" seriously that is the crux of the matter - not the problem in and of itself. 

This week I went on a long road trip to deliver my daughter to college in Mobile, Alabama. On the drive back, I sat in the back seat and thought that I had a problem. My back hurt and no matter how I positioned myself, I could not get comfortable.

After a few hours like this, I found that I had to pee. My bladder got so full that I forgot all about my back. Suddenly my back was not a problem, but needing a bathroom break was!  

My husband pulled off at a fast food restaurant and I ran inside to the Ladies Room. After I used the toilet, I realized that there was no toilet paper. The problem of a full bladder had been resolved, but now I had another problem! 

This is how the ego works: it is just one problem after another - first my back, then my bladder, then the lack of toilet paper. 

  • I tried to solve the problem on my own:

  • I checked my purse for tissues but found none.

  • I checked the box of protective seat liners, but it was empty.

  • I wondered if someone might come in while I sat there, and hand me TP under the stall, but no one appeared. 

  • I double-checked the TP holder in case I missed a spare roll that needed to drop down from some hidden space. 

I truly felt trapped. 

As I considered my quandary - it wasn't just pee but poo, too, that I needed to clean up - I recalled the concept that resistance is what keeps a problem in place. It is wanting things to be different that creates suffering. Like, wishing that you had toilet paper instead of just accepting the situation.

I thought about Byron Katie's catch-phrase "Loving What Is". As I pondered this state of affairs, I relaxed and leaned back. 

Then, I felt a giant roll of toilet paper on the top of the toilet tank behind my back.

It had been there all along, but I had not known it, because I had been preoccupied with my problem and figuring out how to fix it. I had been unable to see the solution because of my own interference! 

It truly seemed like a miracle to me - as if toilet paper had appeared from nowhere.

This is the kind of thing that A Course in Miracles calls a blockage.

It tells us that we do not see things the way they really are, but through the filter of our personal perception. Apparently, I had been viewing through a filter of lack, and it wasn't until I shifted my perception to one of acceptance, that I realized I had never been in lack at all. 

The Course tells us that we have only ONE problem:  the belief that we are separate from one another and from God.

It also tells us that at the moment of (seeming) separation, God created the Holy Spirit as a solution, so that we had a way to reconnect with God. There is always a solution, if we are willing to stop doing everything ourselves, and trust in the Holy Spirit to assist us.

Even with something as mundane as toilet paper. 

Thank you, Holy Spirit

Assure yourself often today that your problems have been solved. Repeat the idea with deep conviction, as frequently as possible. And be particularly sure to apply the idea for today to any specific problem that may arise. - Workbook, Lesson 80