Do I have to know exactly what kind of problem I have, and what it should be called, in order to locate the answer? Do I have to find someone who has been through my exact same experience in order to figure out the solution?
That would be unreasonable, and also impossible. No one has gone through your own particular set of dynamics with your own particular problem. No one. So -- is it hopeless? Are we alone?
The reason I teach principles is that there are common true things (principles) that are true in every problem or issue relating to our emotions. There are patterns. There are ways to make sure we are seeing clearly. There are ways to boil our experience down to manageable bits of emotions -- and to understand the emotions involved. It’s amazing when we understand the emotions involved by understanding how the principles work, we find our own solutions. The solution just appears once we know how to look.
It’s like creating a beautiful mosaic.
I think of it in terms of a beautiful mosaic. Our lives are built of experiences - some that we like, some that we don’t. Our emotions are intertwined with all of those experiences. Our emotions are the fabric of what the experience is made of. When we really understand that, we realize how important it is, then, to understand emotions, so that we can make sense of what we are experiencing. The experience then becomes meaningful, and important -- but without the pain or hurt or anger that we might experience when we have no understanding. That allows us to look at life as beautiful mosaic, one that is intertwined with understanding and peace. It creates emotional order and harmony.
How do we do this? How do we become “artists” in our own lives?
It’s really about learning how to use our emotions to see where we are. Then we make course corrections if we choose to do that. I call it a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift happens when we shift from one way of viewing a situation to another. The situation does not change. How we understand our emotions gives us the ability to shift our paradigm - to take stock, if you will, of where we are, where we want to be, where others are in the situation, and see how to map out our course of action to get to where we want to be.
Understanding the principles really does allow that to happen. Only when that happens will we be able to feel emotional peace. That makes all the difference.