If we do not recognize what the problem is, we cannot
hope to find and embrace the solution. Our ever-changing,
fast-paced world seems to be filled with a never-ending,
always-vexing stream of unsolved problems. These
problems include personal, familial, professional, and
community as well as global difficulties. At times they can
be so collectively overwhelming that we find ourselves
filled, either consciously or unconsciously, with pessimistic
preoccupation and dread.
How do we recognize the problem All problems,
regardless of how they appear, stem from some grievance
we hold against someone else or something else that we
ourselves project outward, giving that grievance form and
content. In some way, we want the problem to be different
than it is: We want the other person to behave differently,
and we think this change will make the problem go away.
Yet someone or something outside of ourselves is never
the ultimate cause of any perceived problem. The true
cause is our thoughts, attitudes, judgments, and grievances
about that problem, which we can change at any moment
by changing our minds.
The illusion of linear time is that everything happens
in a specific order. While nonlinear time may seem
implausible, consider the common belief that the solution
is always preceded by the problem. That would be true if
problems were as we perceive them. For example, the fear
we experience about what may or may not occur in the
future seems like a very real problem, when in fact it is
merely a projection that is not actually true. How can our
fear of something in the future be real if that future hasn’t
Here’s the truth: Problems do not actually present as they
really are; instead, they’re camouflages for other upsets we
have. That is why we all see things a little bit differently and
generally do not understand why others do not see things
the same way we do.
When we do recognize a problem then, how do we
solve it? The key to finding a solution to any problem lies
in the need to “shift our perception about the problem,
which removes the blocks to the awareness of Love’s
Presence in our lives” (as A Course in Miracles teaches)
and in our ability to see differently. We must recognize
that the solution is not in fixing or changing the problem,
but in changing the way we perceive the problem. This
often requires getting out of our own way and eliminating
our desire to be right—not an easy task, but well worth
The other big piece of this equation is that the only way
to cleanse our seemingly justified grievances is through
forgiveness—both by forgiving ourselves for our judgments
and forgiving others for their actions. Only then will we be
truly free, able to both enlighten our problem-solving and
to see the problems for what they really are. Only then can
we come with open minds and forgiving hearts and ask
God what it is that we need to think, say, and do. What is it
that we need to know?
The answer may be to take some form of corrective
action or it may be to do absolutely nothing and just be.
Either way, we can always count on the fact that the answer,
the solution, will be born of clarity and love instead of our
own ego’s justified anger, guilt, and righteousness.
Examining how our attitudes determine our experiences
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
GERALD JAMPOLSKY, M.D., AND
DIANE CIRINCIONE-JAMPOLSKY, PH.D.,
ARE THE FOUNDERS OF ATTITUDINAL
HEALING INTERNATIONAL. TOGETHER AND
SEPARATELY, THEY’VE AUTHORED 16 BOOKS.
What’s the Problem?
T H E SOLUTION I S N O T
IN FIXING OR CHANGING
THE PROBLEM, BUT IN
CHANGING THE WAY WE
PERCEIVE THE PROBLEM.