Michael Meade: Finding the Right Trouble

People “find themselves” when in some kind of trouble. What troubles us always seems bigger than we are, it grabs hold of us and we find ourselves being pulled deeper and deeper into it. That’s the point of trouble: to get us into deeper waters than we might choose on our own. People have problems and can even handle them, but people “find themselves” when in the midst of what truly troubles them. 

Real trouble has purpose hidden in it; that’s why it’s so troubling to us. Typically, serious trouble must develop for us to recall what is most important to us. For what truly troubles us would also change us. Trouble wants us to face up to it; to turn and face what we came here to learn about. The right trouble draws on all our resources, making us more resourceful and more aware of capacities we didn’t know were there. The right trouble can make us more resilient, more creative, and less troubled in general. Those who would avoid trouble at all costs simply wind up in the wrong trouble. In the end everyone gets into some kind of trouble, but wisdom depends on being in the right trouble. Being wise doesn’t keep us completely out of trouble, but leads us to finding the right trouble to be in. That’s a message from the black dog: find the right trouble and learn from it who you already are.

For a more extensive taste of Michael Meade's work visit Mosaic Voices.