How can I detach from a problem?

How can I detach from a problem?

by don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills

Think of a problem in your life that has caused you to worry or suffer. Then imagine that you can view your life through the lens of a magical camera. When you zoom in, you see and feel every detail and facet of your life; anything that touches your life comes into focus within the frame of the viewfinder.

Imagine that you can also zoom out whenever you choose in order to see the larger picture of your life. In the zoom-out mode, your focus is no longer on all the details. The first thing you see is the house you live in from hundreds of feet above the ground. In the zoom-out mode, you observe ever-widening panoramic views of first the city where you live, then the country, then the continent, until suddenly you are staring at the earth from outer space.

Pause for a moment to consider your life from this perspective. Your life and all your troubles are a tiny speck on the face of the earth. All your dreams, all your desires, all your hopes and fears are there in that speck on earth. You are there in the midst of billions of people just like you who share similar emotions and dreams. Stay in the zoom-out mode, and continue on your journey into outer space until you can see all the planets in our solar system. Keep going farther and farther until the entire Milky Way is visible from light-years away.

Who are you? What are you? Where is your place in this vast universe? Why do humans suffer over so many small things in life when there is a universe of beauty and wonder to behold? When we consider the span of eternity and the entire history of humanity, our life is over in a mere fraction of time. How will we choose to spend it? What will we invest our energy in?

Keep zooming out until you detach completely from your problem and can see that it is insignificant in the greater scheme of Life.

Remind yourself that every problem carries the seeds of opportunity to learn, to love, to grow in awareness, and simply to be happy to be alive.

When we attach to an object, to our beliefs, to a person we love, it is just as if we are stuck in the zoom-in mode, and all we can see is the smallest part of Life. We can only see our own life, our own problems; all our worries and attachments come into focus and fill the entire frame of our dream. As we zoom out, our problems represent a smaller and smaller percentage of our entire universe, and we find that they really don’t require much of our attention at all.

The next time you find yourself focusing incessantly on a problem, imagine zooming out with your magical camera. Detach from all the details, and put your attention on the wider picture of your life. Remember that nothing in life is truly serious. Imagine that you can enjoy every person, every material possession, every event in your life as a magical experience that continues to unfold.

Zoom out and keep going farther and farther into space until the cord that keeps you attached to your fears finally snaps. As soon as you detach from the fear, you detach from the problem, you detach from the outcome, and you are free. You are floating effortlessly in the stream of Life. When you have no fear, you have no resistance. And when you have no resistance, the solution to your problem is there in the Light and it comes to you. The solution to every problem of humanity is in the Light.

You are alive, you are free, and you are powerful. You are not a victim of your beliefs, your desires, your society, or your circumstance. You are an active participant in the art of dreaming.


Excerpt from The Four Agreements Companion Book: Using The Four Agreements to Master the Dream of Your LifeCopyright © 2000 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D. and Janet MillsReprinted by Permission of Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California.

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