This is a misunderstanding.
A problem isn’t a “thing”—it’s an intangible, fluid process driven by meaning.
It originates in the deep layers of the psyche where our subconscious dreams up ways to communicate its contents to us.
It sends us negative thoughts, depressed moods, panic attacks, doubts, fears, and nightmares.
These bad experiences feel as real and solid as can be, but, in fact, they’re dreamlike processes.
We can fabricate whatever diagnostic label or rational explanation we want, and we can medicate ourselves so that we don’t notice what’s happening, but none of this has anything to do with the process itself.
To find out what’s really going on we have to use the same currency our problems use–we have to speak their language.
And what’s this language? The imagination.
Before our problems manifest in real world ways they exist as unconscious images, sounds, and feelings.
They’re like a movie we don’t yet see, hear, or feel.
In order to expose the film and grok its meaning for our life and growth, we have to shine the light of our consciousness upon it.
We can do this by letting go of our fixed interpretations of our troubles, and entering into the stream of our imagination.
The goal isn’t to visualize what we want but rather to discover what’s being asked of us.
A simple start:
1. Choose a problem to work on.
2. Describe how it feels.
3. Make a picture in your mind of the feeling.
For example, your depression might look like a heavy boulder you drag around or a dead lake.
Your anxiety might look like a scared mouse or a hurricane.
Your inner critic might look like a mean parent or a teacher.
4. Let the image unfold into an inner movie and follow where it goes.
Don’t direct it with what you feel is going on or even what you want to occur; let it happen on its own.
5. See if your movie reveals something that helps you learn about your process.
Life is real but it’s driven by dreaming!