Created Problems – How do we Deal with Them?

Do you know the feeling of buying something you know you actually don’t need or is not going to work for you?

I experienced this last week: with our big grocery shop on Saturday, my husband and I were offered a box of water with a lemon taste. Now we don’t drink much else than water and herbal teas and I felt it probably would not be right for us. Yet there was this little curiosity that was big enough to make me take the free water. It was still in a closed box so I was not able to read the ingredients, nor did I know if it was sweetened artificially. Yet I deep down knew it was not right for us and the chance that it would be water with real lemon juice was very small, as that just does not keep well for long!

At home my husband, also being a bit curious now, opened the box and was excited as it did not contain sugar or sugar substitutes, though it did contain an artificial lemon taste, which unfortunately did not really match natural lemon! We knew we could not drink this as we just simply did not like it.

Now we had another problem: a box with six one litre cartons of water with artificial lemon taste… standing on our bench for a day… and of course it started to annoy me. Yet I sensed more than just the annoyance of it standing on the bench – there was another level to it and that was that it was a totally self-created annoyance. I had already felt to not get the water even though it was free, but I did because I wanted to know for sure and now I had to deal with the consequences of this choice.

This made me ponder on the bigger meaning of life. How often do we create things, issues, troubles etc. in our life we know are actually not needed at all before we create them? And then find ourselves having to deal with the consequences of a choice we made against our natural feelings?

Big ones are:

  • Getting angry even though we don’t want to
  • Overeating when we know we feel horrible afterwards
  • Buying clothes that we don’t really like or don’t feel completely comfortable in
  • Extremes such as firing a bullet and creating a war.

In these instances I noticed that there is always a moment that tells you what it is going to be like when you choose the reaction, issue or complication.

When we take a moment we can observe we have chosen something that is not in line with what we feel is true and that we have actually created a problem that was not there before. By doing that we have made the space to decide what to do with it.

A couple of examples:

  1. Ignore the annoyance and act like it does not annoy us – to do this we have to numb and dull our senses by for instance overeating or eating the wrong foods, entertainment, gaming, being overly social and outgoing etc.
  2. Not accept our mistake and beat ourselves up for it – which is also a form of dulling and numbing our senses and a way to make life a huge struggle too!
  3. Accept we made a mistake and created something that shouldn’t have been created – taking responsibility by dealing with the problem now at hand.

In the past I would always be in option 2 before I would even be aware of it! I would react and empty the cartons for sure yet all the time feeling like I shouldn’t have taken them – without giving myself any space or understanding.

This time, because of the understanding of the situation and observing instead of reacting, I chose option 3. We emptied all the cartons and put them out with the special rubbish. Not a big deal but when I accepted my choice to not act on my feelings it was easy to see what to do next: taking responsibility and getting rid of them in a responsible way.

Even though it is a very simple situation and you might think I am complicating it, for me it brought a huge understanding to my reactions and behaviours in many moments in my life. I think the thing we like to ignore the most in life is that we are the creators of our own problems and being confronted with this fact makes the most extreme reactions come out of us if we are not aware of it happening.

The feeling of having created a problem that is not needed (and when are problems needed?) can feel very annoying and we don’t like to feel this. For instance, with the water I was really annoyed with the extra work to be done to get rid of them and the space being taken in our rubbish bin (which is not that big), but I could not go and blame the supermarket or anyone else for it – it was my own choice and that is not always nice to feel.

But I found that actually dealing with the problem from an understanding of the situation, and why I chose what I chose, brings much more lightness to my life than trying to avoid feeling the annoyance.

We can in the end only truly move on when we have dealt with and accepted our past choices.

By Lieke Campbell, 26, Student Dentistry, Belgium

Related Reading:
To Observe and Not Absorb
The Meatball Story
Being Responsible for the Life I Live




511 thoughts on “Created Problems – How do we Deal with Them?

  1. I have found that true mastery of life lies in simplicity. I am still overcoming a very strong momentum of creating problems left, right and centre but the times I am in absoluteness and surrender there is only simplicity.

    1. It is beautiful you mention simplicity because life is indeed very simple. When we don’t feel hungry we simply don’t have to eat, when we don’t feel that the thing we are offered is something for us we just say no to it and so on. The simplicity is in the feeling yes or no, but the complication comes in at the moment we don’t honour the feeling, or as you say absoluteness and surrender, and create something for ourselves that identifies us then after that it takes more energy to deal with afterwards.

    2. Carolien recently I gained a much deeper awareness about my relationship with problems, and how I love a problem. I got to feel how it takes me away from being me and as you say gives me something to identify myself with. I have been aware of this before but this time got to feel it in such clarity.

  2. Such a simple thing to do, accept our mistakes without the condemnation and notice what we overlooked or dismissed that allowed it to happen in the first place. Beautiful Like!

  3. It’s a great example of why and how we create problems with ourselves. We override what we feel and then inevitably get annoyed with ourselves, because we knew!! We knew all along that something wasn’t right, but we went along for the ride anyway.

  4. I agree in that feeling the fact that I have created or supported the creation of a problem is a bigger reaction than the actual issue itself. Because once I get over that hurdle it makes the correction smoother, less delay and simple. Even if it doesn’t get addressed right away I feel much more at ease with the situation.

  5. I got sucked in to this weird Facebook add the other day and I am ashamed to admit I brought this thing for my foot that cost 50 dollars, when it arrived in the mail, it was a little piece of plastic from china that of course did not work. I was so angry but not at the company or the foot thing but at myself for allowing that silly add to affect me to the point of purchase. I have been holding onto that little bit of plastic because it cost money and it feels weird to chuck it out. After this article, I feel inspired to go chuck it in the bin, for it is draining me even more cluttering up my room

  6. Life get very simple if we directly connect with what we feel in certain actions and respond to it accordingly.
    And if, because we are not perfect, we forget to listen to ourselves, we can do it on the moment we become aware. Just simple nominating ( not judging) and move on.

  7. “I think the thing we like to ignore most in life is that we are the creators of our own problems.” Not taking responsibility for our choices may be hard to accept and what’s more it’s worth considering that we are giving away our power. But when we are willing to accept responsibility and become aware to this fact, then we are less likely to say yes to something or someone that we feel isn’t in our true interest.

  8. Yes, we do create our problems. But a ‘problem’ is also a learning, a challenge that we can rise to, and an opportunity to gain understanding and clear the way…so maybe its not a ‘problem’ at all.

    1. Yes very true Jenny. For as long there is a willingness in us to not surrender in full, there is a reason for that and these moments offer us a learning to see where the unwillingness comes from and how we can move on from this.

    1. Yes true, the bashing and resentment is part of the life without love because we resent the thing we did and see it as insurmountable in the tangible physical world of right and wrong we live in. Yet in love there is no right or wrong only an forever holding for us to come back to each time, without need for showing regret and resentment.

  9. Why is it we create problems for ourselves in the first place,? instead of going into body bashing because of our choices we can choose to accept the learning that our mistake is there to provide.

  10. The fact that we create our own reality can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially if we have invested in the victim image.

    1. Yes it is the investment in what it gives us, an identity be it a victim or a conqueror of our problems, that keeps us from seeing what is truly going on and how simple it is to change our life around.

  11. Creating problems in order to distract ourselves has got to be one of our most accomplished tasks! Imagine the extra time and space we would have if we did not do it?

  12. This raises an important point about dealing with past choices in full. It is common that we don’t and that we just keep going, but there is such clearing when we actually deal with what is behind what happens – with the energy at play.

  13. It’s amazing to think that if we are capable of creating all these problems, what could we create if we put all that energy towards serving humanity?

    1. This would be a much better usage of our energy, instead of creating disasters with our petty issues we so love to dwell on.

  14. Beautiful blog, thank you Lieke. It has me deepening my understanding of acceptance, the totality and absoluteness of that and how simple it can be just to let go and look to what’s next.

  15. It is very interesting to see what follows up from our created problems and the consequences. The key is that once it is not a supportive outcome, that we do not react, but be honest and observe our action and the effect it may have. To inspire us to do it differently next time again.

  16. ” The feeling of having created a problem that is not needed (and when are problems needed?) can feel very annoying and we don’t like to feel this. ”
    Also when we create a problem it’s like a camouflage so as to not see what went before it, therefore the problem could be made so to speak and dwelled in. Also the problem can be made so as to camouflage what is to be seen and worked on ahead of us. A sort of personal deception.

  17. I am earning a lot less money presently so need to consider more deeply before I buy anything, This has made me realize that I would often buy things that I did not really need or sometimes, even particularly love when it came to clothing. It has been a great exercise in really valuing what I earn and spending it wisely as in the past I took for granted my income.

  18. A great example highlighting how we choose to put ourselves into unnecessary tension and experiences when we override and distract ourselves from the truth of what our body is clearly communicating.

  19. This blog has come back to support me on many occasions where I have made life complicated, especially through unneeded purchases. It’s not enough to simply make the problem go away. When we read the reason why we’ve chosen to make life complicated the true mess is cleaned up. Thank you for sharing.

  20. I think we all know the feeling of buying something that’s not right or don’t need. You get the feeling as you are shopping, a little voice that says it’s not it. But we override the voice saying its near enough, it’s on sale, we need one so it will do. These thoughts remind me a lot of how we end up in relationships that are not right for us and compromising because its ‘near enough’ or ‘it will do’.

  21. On first glance it would be easy to say, well I don’t like the water so just throw it away without a second thought, but as you show Lieke it does not get us to look at our choices and why we made them and where our responsibility lies. I feel we are doing this all the time in life, ignoring what is being offered to us in these situations until we get something big that we can’t ignore and the consequences are more obvious. By seeing the taking of free water was a created problem that did not need to happen is a great lesson and one that we can take to all our created problems in life.

  22. It’s great to recognise if we’ve ignored something that we had sensed already and to see the consequences of having ignored what we had picked up on! If we can appreciate that then the next time we may not be so dismissive to what we sense…

  23. And your way of dealing with this is so much better than allowing yet another issue to compound with the issues that are building up… And which then for so many people ends up in overwhelm

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