The Solution

A note I wrote in October 2016 about acceptance. (It is important to draw a distinction between acceptance and resignation.) Please offer your thoughts after reading.


A spark from reading a line in a recent NYT article by Marie Kondo. She writes: “Once you’ve pinpointed problems, identify specific solutions.” Her thing is tidiness, as encapsulated in her book and method and this particular article. Reading that line, though, took my brain in another direction.

In chemistry, a solution is created when you dissolve something in a liquid; for example, taking salt and adding it to water to make brine. The salt doesn’t go away. It is still there, just no longer in the original form. Perhaps problems, or rather circumstances, are similar. They never really go away — one can’t erase past events after all — but rather we can change our view and approach. We absorb the circumstances and change both. We are the solvent and we become the solution. For me, that seems a less stressful view, and one more true to reality, than viewing problems as things we don’t like (i.e. “bad” things) that must be eliminated.

There is freedom to be had when we cut the strings that bind us to the most powerful of puppetmasters: our sense of dislike. When you can sit comfortably in, and be aware of, its presence, you can handle anything.

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