If it IS broke - don't fix it!

May 18, 2008

We've all heard the tell-tale idiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This wise insight instructs us to stop imposing revisions on that which already functions sufficiently – no enhancements necessary. Like a woman whose natural beauty shines forth, altering the symmetry of her features in an attempt to mold her into something even more appealing, can result in a disastrous disfiguration. By trying to "fix," we change the nature of the perfection of the perceived brokenness in our life, and often cause more damage and confusion in the process. Conversely, consider if something in your life IS broken – what then? While change and growth almost always ensure positive movement, entertain the impact of alternative, more spiritual, approaches to dealing with life’s little errata.

Ask it
One of the first things we say when noticing something not working properly in life, "I wonder why that happened?" allows us to view a difficulty or flaw apart from the self. This question almost inevitably precludes the predictable answer, "Everything happens for a reason," and often leaves the effected party reminded of the mystery of God's mechanics while befuddled by the misfiring of Spirit’s spark.

As we mature, we realize time spent pondering the why and how of life detracts our energy from seeking and implementing alternatives. Its human nature to inquire -"why me," "why now," etc. "Why" always seems appropriate when a problem arises. Addressing the dynamic with a question (and naively expecting a response) fuels our illusion of control. Later, when newer and greater circumstances replace the broken issue, we realize the "why" served only to lead the way for better things to enter our lives.

Bless it
With a new perspective placed on the "broken" in life, we realize that giving energy to the problem only magnifies it. Many spiritual teachers taught us that what we concentrate on, increases in our lives. Consequently, focusing on the condition of brokenness, serves only to embolden its pervasiveness.

Consider then, blessing what appears as malfunctioning. Thank the circumstance for entering your life when and how it appeared, knowing that most lessons in life come to the masquerade gala we call life, brilliantly adorned as difficulties or problems. All the while, the true identity of the life-lesson hides beneath an exterior of pain or difficulty, waiting for us to unmask the morsel of wisdom hidden beneath. Opt instead to no longer struggle against problems since struggling bolsters the power of negativity. Instead, by blessing, our energy shifts to the seed-like lesson held within the presentation of brokenness, not fertilizing the pod of problems.

Leave it
When faced with a problem focused on for so long the solution appears blurry, often the best remedy to break through the dam of new ideas surfaces when we take a break. Struggling, over-thinking and even regurgitating options that once worked but no longer apply, only serves to further dilemma. Constructive, and the ever-sought simple answer to one of life’s problems may find its way to your ah-ha moment of understanding when you step aside from your hold on the frenzy of frustration. Get up. Walk away. Take a breath.

Separating and disconnecting from the energy surrounding the problem, frees us to see the problem operating with its own concentric waves of nuances, not tangled in a sea of self-fulfilling seaweed. By moving away from both the negative energy of the problem as well as the problem itself, we break the whirlpool that drains us of our capabilities to see a resolution in spite of the turmoil. So, surrender the need to find an immediate fix, and float on your raft of respite. Allow Spirit to drift you in the direction of new perspective.

Release it
A problem arose in your life – something appeared broken and your compulsion to fix it usurped your sense of balance. Asking the rhetorical why and how of the problem failed to generate any satisfaction. Blessing the spiritual impact of the fracture in your world, in spite of your resistance and the inconvenience it brought, left you empty and unfulfilled, with the problem still intact. Leaving the challenge, whether momentarily or even permanently, cast you adrift in the sea of the unknown. What’s left?

You can train and spar and fight and punch your way until you’ve put the problem on the mat - knocked out but still breathing. You’ve not transformed yourself in the process. Your combat accomplished disfiguring the problem until its brokenness became superficially unrecognizable. At its core, the nature of the difficulty remained stagnant. Nothing’s changed except your energy to engage in a fight.

Trusting life and trusting God requires either a lot of focus and discipline, or none at all. This strange contradiction depends on your acceptance and willingness to know that Spirit takes care of the problem for you – in the best possible way. By releasing all the facets of the perceived problem as well as your attachment to it and need to fix it, requires great faith – or trust. You really don’t need to know how to fix it. You’re really not in control anyway. By setting free the problem, you transform and set yourself free.

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