Our ordinary minds try to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is interests only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge only of something much better: that we can become oak trees. —E.F. Schumacher—
Most of us struggle at times with a sense of worthlessness. Sometimes this sense of being good for nothing leads us to self-destructive behavior; sometimes it is accompanied by self-pity. At such times, other people’s lives seem more attractive, and we may fancy that there are easy solutions to our problems. “If I only had two nice children, an adoring spouse, and a house in the suburbs!” we think, or oh,”
to be single and on my own in the big city!” The truth is, and we know it when we’re not in a funk, that our solutions, like our problems, lie within us. We all tend to blame other people and circumstances for our own shortcomings. That’s human. But we let go of blaming if we want to grow. We have the power to transform every situation. If we feel trapped by a job that seems dull or a relationship that seems lifeless,we can redefine our sense of the trap. What do we want? What prevents us from going after it? What opportunities have we overlooked? If we’re frightened by a prospect that seems dangerous, we can turn it into a challenge, and at the same time plan realistically how to protect ourselves. I will remember that every seeming problem is an opportunity for growth.