On the complexity of change
I woke up this morning and the first four lines of a song played in my mind.
Guten Morgen, liebe Sorgen Seid ihr auch schon alle da? Habt ihr auch so gut geschlafen? Na dann ist ja alles klar.
Good morning, my dear worries. Are you all here already? Did you sleep as well as I did? Alright then, everything is clear.
What are we doing with the complexity of change, if it is not just any problem, but we are right in the middle of it? Maybe we see ourselves as the problem? We are one of the actors in this nonlinear process of complex change? And using technical terms does not make it better. We suffer. We feel the process is out of control. Maybe we are not the problem? Maybe somebody else is behind it? Maybe everybody else is behind it? We are overwhelmed. Nothing we do makes it better. Perhaps we get angry, perhaps we get anxious. It’s all too much. Nothing makes sense anymore. We keep trying to react. And react frantically. Our energy is draining. Exhausted. Tired. Low, low energy. We force ourselves to go back to the problem, to tackle it one more time. Or not. We ignore. We avoid. We give up. No end and no solution in sight.
What a bleak picture. I have been in pictures like that. Pictures like that are imprinted on my mind. And the problem-solving I began to describe – the overcoming of a hurdle between the current state and the goal state – just does not seem to work. In a picture like that, it feels like problem-solving does not even apply. We feel we were treated poorly and unfairly at work, and it hurts. A loved one is in silent or loud pain. We have seen the pain too late and feel we have a part in it. We drive on a busy road. Somebody cuts in right in front of us. We brake. And feel like nobody his ever seen or heard us. No end and no solution in sight?
What am I going to do? With all these problems I have described so vaguely? The answer surprised me. Nothing. Now. Do nothing now. I have looked at the problem. I have tackled the problem. The problem didn’t budge, did not change for the better, didn’t just disappear. I cannot avoid it. What am I going to is the wrong question at this moment. What am I going to be is the better question. The problem is complex and my being overwhelmed does not help me control the process. Looking back, my being overwhelmed made it worse.
It’s a matter of perception. You have looked outward. At the problem. At the others who are part of it. At yourself from the outside. Now is the time to look inward. Give your mind the peace it needs. Calm. Rest. Rhythm. Perceive the calm energy we all have. Breathe. Feel your breath. Feel your heart. Feel your body. Relax. Focus on your breath.
And when you return from your meditation, the problems – or do you have just one? – were waiting for you. Problems tend to be persistent and patient. And so can you be. With your peaceful mind, you can change the problem. You can change the world. Calmly. One problem at the time.