Problems are only problems when we decide they’re going to be problems.
This week’s Zohar portion, Vayechi (meaning “life”) starts with the sentence: “And Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven.”
Jacob spent the last years of his life living in exile in Egypt. The Zohar teaches that Egypt represents the illusionary world of physicality, the false consciousness telling us, ‘what I see is real.’
However, the Zohar states that these were the best years of Jacob’s life. What gives?
The word for Egypt in Hebrew is Mitzrayim (meaning “to squeeze”). Why is Egypt related to squeezing? The answer is, it’s all about squeezing life out of chaos. To shine the Light on illusion and difficulty.
The Zohar wants to teach us an important lesson this week: our problems are an illusion. We are merely seeing our challenges in a negative frame. What is a problem, really? A problem is only a problem because we think it is. In truth, challenges are opportunities to go to our next level.
For most of us, hardship brings us to a place of squeezing - going the extra mile. Without difficult challenges, most people would likely stay stuck in the status quo. For certain, most people wouldn’t be motivated to dig beneath the surface of their lives.
This week, stop seeing life as a problem and start seeing it as no problem. When you practice this, it’s possible to get to a place where you thank God for the challenges in your life and the way these challenges push you to change and grow.
Think about it, who are you most impressed with in your life? Chances are they are people who go the extra mile. How do they go the extra mile? They squeeze. If you had all you wanted in life right now, would you study spirituality? Probably not. However, when a person is not satisfied with what’s available in life, the more inspired and motivated they become to seek transformation.
But our tendency is to want to get rid of problems; to solve them. Instead, why not realize that maybe the problem is good for us. Maybe it’s helping us search for a new job or relationship or place to live.
If we take all the honey out of a bottle, and we’re ready to throw it away, we need to ask ourselves, can I squeeze out more? That’s spiritual work. We always have to check to see if we squeezed. Otherwise, we’re not tapping into our potential.
This week, when you find yourself thinking “Problem,” squeeze yourself until you get to the point of “No Problem.”
Read the full Zohar portion of Vayechi and connect to the energy of the week here.