I’m inspired to speak to a pattern I’ve witnessed in myself and others, because I’ve had some recent revelations that could be useful for those who are struggling with something big. Here’s what I’ve observed.

When there’s an apparent problem in our lives, especially around health, love or money, most of us employ one of two strategies:

1. Denial: “What problem? Everything is fine!” The issues with this approach are evident.

2. Pathologizing: “I have candida!” “I’m codependent!” “I have money blocks!” The issues with this strategy are harder to spot.

In this second strategy, the problem can seem really BIG and overwhelming, as though it’s going to take years and a Herculean effort to solve. (Please note that I am only speaking about these cases here).

It can feel comforting to label the issue so we know what we are up against, but if the measures apparently required to solve it are drastic, it’s a red flag that there is a distortion in our perception.

By labeling a problem and identifying the solution, we perceive that we are back in control of a situation that had us feel helpless.

Now we can focus on the solution, but in turning our attention to an unending, all- consuming solution, we stop feeling the pain of the problem, and mainly feel the busy-ness of trying to fix or heal it.

This can look like endless cleansing, coaching, reading, advice-seeking, healing sessions, and talking about the issue.

We may have small wins but the problem never seems to go away. We are caught in our very own victim-perpetrator-rescuer drama where we are the victim, the problem is the perpetrator, and the solution is the rescuer.

This can be a destructive loop and it rarely works.

Until we can sit with the discomfort of the problem long enough to arrive at true clarity, we are probably just trying to avoid feeling our pain, which is what will actually have us feel better. Feeling in control of the problem is a poor substitute for fully experiencing the problem.

The pain likely isn’t even what we think it is. I’ve had back pain that was about a relationship that needed to end, and I’ve had money issues that were about my ability to have fun. And I’ve had candida that was actually caused by stress, and exacerbated by cleansing,

Every time I went down the road of trying to fix the problem, I dug myself deeper and deeper into an expensive, time consuming, bottomless pit of needing to do more and more to feel ok.

When I finally stopped and felt the helplessness, the lack of control, i.e. the real, underlying issue, the thing I was in the most denial about and was unconsciously avoiding like the plague, surfaced naturally.

It was always a situation where I knew I needed to change something big in my life but was terrified to do so.

It didn’t require years of healing, it required massive courage, faith, and a willingness to relinquish a piece of my identity I had been gripping tightly.

This was never an easy task, but it was always simple.

What actually worked for me was to make a heartfelt prayer for help and to be well.

What I’ve learned through observing myself and others is that once we’ve glimpsed the true problem and make a deeply aligned prayer about it, we are probably less than a year away from a surprising resolution (though it’s rarely what we think the solution should be…)

Massive transformation is way easier than we imagine it will be. The fact that we even have a particular prayer means that it’s already answered, or we wouldn’t truly have it. We just don’t know how or when.

The key is to avoid the “fix me, I’m broken” paradigm, because we could get stuck there for an unnecessarily long time.

One way out of this cycle is to celebrate small wins and notice the ways we are always one breath away from freedom.

If we turn our attention to the real ways we are getting braver, stronger and wiser, even feeling into the most minor victories can accelerate the manifestation of our prayer, because we begin to cultivate the necessary faith that it will be answered in the best way possible.

This is why feeling our feelings and celebrating our progress are the keys to shaping our reality, to the extent that our free will allows it. (Sometimes we are just on Destiny’s ride and get to inhabit the medicine of surrender, but the same approach is equally effective!)

Some practitioners and healers will deny this truth, insist on giving us and our issue a powerful label, and declare that it will take years of diligent effort to resolve.

I say, do not listen to these people, for they are confused, and complicating reality. They have likely built up a belief structure around this problem that supports their own identity. We do not need to take that on.

I suggest we look deeper. Get honest with ourselves. Feel our hearts. Make a prayer. Cultivate faith. Celebrate. Surrender.

If we focus on the truth, the truth will inevitably emerge.