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When Things are Closing in, Enlarge the Horizon

When we are struggling with a difficult problem, we rightly tend to focus on it. We box it in, contain it, separate it out from our more generalized attention so we can really see it. This is fine, as long as our focus leads to action. But if no action is possible and we are still focused, our focus, instead of ending in action, ends in itself. We end up in the box with the problem, separated from everything else, and wonder why we feel like things are closing in on us. Things aren't closing in; we have allowed a prudent problem-solving mechanism to become an end instead of a means to an end.

The way out is the same as the way in. We can come out of the box into our general life. If our problem is one of poor health, for instance, we can expand our awareness to include the resources of our family, our accomplishments, our spiritual life. We can expand our awareness in terms of time. We can see the problem, not as a separate time frame, but as part of an 80-year life-span. We can look at the small wild things in nature, at the grand mountains or the endless sky and see that no one problem is bigger than life itself, and life is always on our side.

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