I have a particularly frustrating habit – not so intense that I could call it a compulsion, but still …intense enough. I can’t help thinking of how to fix the world’s problems. It probably sounds pretty fun – better than … well, better than some other hobbies. Only it’s not. First, because there are a lot of problems. Even if I only pick the ones that seem manageable, they never are. If they were, I’m sure I’d have made more progress.
I have to look at it from every side I can think of (and then I have to wonder how many other sides I’m missing). I don’t think I’m so smart that I could actually – poof! – one day solve it. It just feels like something I need to do. Like meditating. Only without any of the relaxing side effects.
Just about the time I’m feeling frustrated and powerless and defeated (which takes way longer than it ought to), something shifts.
The problem’s still there and I still know it’s a problem, but suddenly I really know that fixing it isn’t the important thing. I accept my limitations. And then I get to forget all about the obstacles and shine my little light on what is working.
You’d think I’d skip the frustration part, the thwartation (whatever. you know what I mean), the exasperation. It’s probably good to be humbled so much, so often. Mostly, though, it’s good to come out the other side, understanding as much as I possibly could about people coming to the same problems with different values, agendas, needs and visions. I don’t just understand it; I’ve imagined them.
And now I can get on with what I believe is right without any apology. I feel solid, and sure and a little bit electrified. Seems worth it.