Wednesday, October 10, 2007

There are no problems only opportunities

There are no problems only opportunities. In 1994 someone gave me this gem of an idea. At the time I was going through a really horrific divorce and was 46 years old. Because there were 4 children in the marriage(yours, mine and ours) I didn't believe I could survive this particular divorce at that age and keep my life together.

However, a friend of mine whose wife had just died a year before in their swimming pool was there for me because he had just had to survive something really awful. His reaction to his wife dying was to have a serious heart attack and almost die. When he came to visit he was wearing a nitroglycerine patch to stay alive.

He looked at me and said, "The only way you are going to survive something this awful is to take to heart the statement 'There are no problems only opportunities.' As I began to think about how this might work I realized it might save my life.(Though at the time I was willing to do almost anything to protect my children from this awful coming event previous to this I hadn't been willing to do what it would take for me to survive this event.)

How it saves ones life is this: Because you refuse to view any problem as a problem this first relieves ones stress because problems cause stress. Next, one looks for the opportunities that are associated with whatever situation one is in. In my case I was separated and I was unhappy so I started looking for a new companion to help me survive my life. Within two months I had turned my life around in every way. I went from wanting to go out into the woods to fast until I died to realizing that my youngest daughter needed me alive to protect her legally and otherwise. I succeeded in meeting several ladies that I dated and within 1 year remarried and have been very happy in that marriage ever since. Though I wasn't able to get full custody of my youngest daughter then aged 5 I was able to get joint legal custody of her so I could see her 9 weeks a year at my home and during vacations traveling with my new family.

Though I was angry that I couldn't get full custody of my daughter I kept moving in positive directions. When my five year old turned 7 I had a new baby daughter with my new wife. My then 7 year old had asked for a baby sister. Now my 7 year old is almost 19 and has been in college over a year now. My youngest is in a private school and now I'm retired.

So even when something impossible happens in your life if you take "There are no problems only opportunities" to heart you might just survive it with flying colors.

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