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"Can Problems, Challenges and Chaos In your Life Actually Be a Gift?"
by Susie and Otto Collins
Here's a quick question for you...
Has there ever been any period in your life where things were difficult, painful, where you experienced what seemed like more than your share of problems, things seemed wacky, or even felt chaotic? 

For most of us the answer is a definite YES!

For some, these periods of chaos are shorter and less painful
than for others-- but we all seem to have these periods of time
where we experience pain or chaos.  It just seems to be a part
of this experience we call life.

Here's what's interesting...

Not always, but very often, it's out of the painful moments and
chaos in our lives that we find the impetus to create a better
life for ourselves.

It might have been leaving a dissatisfying, dead-end job for a
much better one. It might have been leaving a relationship
that didn't work out and moving on to a more loving one-- or
it might have been any number of other "disasters" that
turned into blessings.

For the two of us, we've had several chaotic periods in our lives
and one of the most painful was when our previous marriages

What we've both discovered is that what emerged from the
chaos of the experience of our previous marriages breaking
up was the vision of what we wanted in an intimate relationship
and what we have been able to create with each other.

While neither one of us is a scientist, we've been studying
people who talk about something called the "chaos theory."

So, while we're not going to bore you with a big description
about "chaos theory". ... what we will tell you about it is that
it's in these seemingly random, chaotic events that turn
your life upside down where the growth happens within
you and your life.

What are we saying here and what does it mean for you
and your relationships and life?

What we're suggesting is that every time life "throws
you a curve" and these apparently random, chaotic events
happen that knock you off your center, you have a choice to

You can let the chaos of life knock you out and keep you
down OR  you can choose to find meaning and order out
of these difficult times that spur you into a better life--a life
that is more expansive and filled with more of what you want.

Most of us usually try to avoid chaos, disruptions and
problems, but problems and chaos (however uncomfortable)
is where the growth is.

In avoiding dealing with the chaos, we also try to avoid
feeling our feelings and usually don't recognize our
resistance to "what is" and "what could be."

We keep repeating the patterns of the past and just
want to get rid of the "chaos" and the "problems" that
are created so that we can have some peace.

We don't look at the enormous opportunities that can
come from changing our attitudes and beliefs about
the chaotic times in our lives and we stay stuck.

So how do you change your attitude about the chaotic
times in your life and actually use them to help you to
create better relationships, more love and a better life?

Here are some ideas that we use during those times
that helps us to make sense of what's happening and
bring "order" to the chaos...
1. Look at the problem or challenge as an opportunity
for learning something new about yourself or your
partner. This is sometimes easier said than done but
we've found that as we are mulling over the situation,
searching for an answer, if we just open to seeing
what it is that we can learn from it, solutions seem to

2. Be easy about all of it. Be more loving toward yourself,
toward your partner and also toward the situation. Most
of the time, the situations that we create that are filled
with problems or challenges are not nearly as big or as
serious as we make them out to be.

Our minds work overtime and we start assuming things
that may not be true, creating more chaos in the process.
We suggest that you stop your churning mind, bring
your attention and love to your heart area, breathe and
lighten up.

3. Bring yourself into the present moment. So often, we
stay stuck in what happened in the past and what might
happen in the future. We've found that if we just deal with
our present circumstances, we soon find a solution to
whatever is challenging us. Know that this situation is
temporary and will pass.

4. If possible, find the humor in the situation and find
ways to be grateful for what is going "right" in your life.
We know from experience that if you focus on gratitude
and humor, the uncomfortableness eases and you will
attract to you more of what you want instead of what
you don't want.

5. Find things that you love to do and that bring you joy.
One of those things that brings Otto joy is listening to music.
So when he feels that life is overwhelming, chaotic and he's
"out of sorts,"  he listens to some really good music. When
he allows himself to focus on the music and how much he is
enjoying himself listening to it, he usually shifts from his
negative funk to a more joyful state of mind.

Start focusing on the positive aspects of something new,
something that you enjoy or that you find pleasurable--
even if it's a very small thing that's going right in your
life like a warm bath. Instead of focusing on your problems
and the chaos, if you begin to focus on something more
positive, your situation will change.

As you read this, you might be saying to yourself that
these ideas sound too easy and good to be true and that
you have real problems and challenges in your relationship
and your life that don't seem to be going away.

We agree that life can throw some pretty rough curves
from time to time that can seem impossible to move past.
When we're caught in the chaos and challenges, we
often can't see our way out and may beat ourselves up
for getting in them in the first place.

We're saying that these are the perfect times to change
your thinking about what chaos and challenges mean
in your life and relationships. If there truly is perfect
order in the chaos, then you can begin to take some
baby steps that will bring you out of your situation
and into a better life.

It seems to be human nature to want to snap our fingers
and see all of our challenges and problems disappear.
The two of us have discovered that our greatest
understandings, growth, and our ability to connect
deeper have come from moving through these challenges
and not instantly having the situation corrected.

While it might seem that life would be easier and certainly
more peaceful if we didn't have to go through these periods
of chaos, that's where we find the greater impetus to move
us forward to deeper love, sensuality, connection and
understanding of ourselves and each other.

So, this week we suggest that you take a fresh, new
look at the situations or times where chaos pops up
in your life and what you can learn from it.

Find order and meaning in it as you are traveling
through it and be in gratitude for the amazing journey
you are on.


© 2008 Susie & Otto Collins, Passionate Heart.
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 568-8282