What’s your problem? (And how you move beyond it)

Have you ever met someone who seems to have a problem for every solution??  Someone who, no matter how hard you try and snap them out of their bad mood, they counter with another reason to justify their misery?  These people are all around us, hell, maybe this has even been you sometimes.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the struggles of the everyday and feel defeated, discouraged, or even just done with the shitstorm that is your life. But I’m gonna tell you something that might be hard for you to hear, you’re never going to find a solution if all you’re focusing on is the problem. 

Please know that this used to be me too. I was the Queen of “Ya but”. Often times I was barely even listening to the advice or solutions being offered to me because I was so fixated on the problem and staying in my victim mentality.  There were times where I don’t even think I was interested in solutions, I could throw one hell of a pity party let me tell ya!

Ugh, 

There’s 2 key points that need to be addressed here and there is a fine line between the two. 

For starters, you cannot create a solution when you continuously run from the problem, and secondly, you also can’t get there by dwelling on it. 

I spent a lot of years running from my problems, I mean, I didn’t realize that I was actually running from them at the time, I thought I was just more or less dealing with them as they appeared. Looking back, what I was actually doing was ignoring them until they became so loud and in my face that I would usually respond in some sort of anger triggered break down resulting in a massive blow out between my husband and I. 

Let me just be clear by saying, this, is not an effective method to implement. 

Now, granted, it is often times necessary to discuss the problem at hand in order to shift your perspective into solution mode, but please be aware when you are in this space, you are in fact working towards shifting your perspective, and not actually just bitching about the same old drama once again. 

Me personally, I need to discuss the issue I’m struggling with out loud in order to move forward.  Even if there is no one around, and I’m just in a back and forth conversation with myself, I personally need to get the whirlwind of chaos out of my head and speak it out loud so I can gain clarity on the subject. I know some people will argue that the Law of Attraction states that we should not talk about that of what we don’t wish to create, and I agree, to an extent. In my opinion, ignoring the problem in hopes it will go away because fear has made you believe that talking about it will intensify it, isn’t a great strategy either.  It’s when we discuss the same problem and reword it 127 different ways to analyze all aspects of said problem that we find ourselves buried in the hopelessness of ever getting out of it on top. 

This is why it is also imperative that you are aware of the people you surround yourself with. 

I mean, sure it’s really great to have friends to lean on who will listen to your endless complaining and completely validate you in every grumble you bring to them, but are they really helping you??

When we get so wrapped up in the problem it makes it incredibly difficult to see any sort of solution because our egos become more focused on being right than they do on being happy. And I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, the two don’t always go hand in hand. 

Trust me, I love being right as much as the next person, there’s a certain sense of satisfaction that comes when you know you have just totally owned someone in an argument, but that satisfaction is often short lived and it doesn’t equate happiness in the long run. Furthermore, seeking validation from those you’re closest to in order to confirm that you did in fact own that person in your argument also isn’t going to make the problem go away, which is why perspective is key in these instances. 

When my husband and I were trying to put the pieces of our marriage back together, I could have easily played my cards in a way that made me the victim, him the villain and ultimately proving me to be right and him wrong. But guess what, not only would that not change the situation we were currently struggling with, but it wouldn’t help us reach any sort of solution in how to fix the actual problem at hand. 

Now I’ll be real with you, I love a good bitch session as much as the next person, I would be lying if I said I’m so together that I never allow myself to fall into the vortex of drama and shit talk, but here’s the difference, I don’t allow myself to stay there long (Anymore!)

When something triggers me and I get fired up, trust me when I say the first thing I want to do is call my bestie and vomit drama through the phone for her to weigh in on, (and just for the record, by weigh in on I mean jump on my bandwagon, shit talk the situation to death, and tell me I’m right in how I’m reacting). Occasionally I still do this, but luckily for me my patience level for myself is low and I realize relatively quickly that THAT strategy is not going to pull my head from my ass.

It’s important that we have a friend circle that we can lean on in times of need, but it is equally important that said circle are people that help you move through your problems not just pull up a seat and get cozy with them. This can be a struggle for a lot of us, I mean, being a good friend means listening without judgement and being supportive right??

Ehhhhh…… not always. 

In my opinion, and you’re welcome to disagree with me, I’m totally ok with that, but in my opinion, being a good friend means listening, but also transitioning them from problem mode to solution mode. Meaning, allowing them to have their time to bitch while also leading them to a potential shift in perspective that allows them to move forward in a more positive way.  

This isn’t always an easy task, and to some, can be incredibly annoying, especially if you’re one of those people I mentioned earlier who would much rather stay stuck in the drama rather then moving towards a more amicable solution. 

Let me break it down for you in simple terms. If you hate your job, your spouse, the way your kids constantly leave the peanut butter knife in the sink without rinsing it off, bitching about them will not make it better. (Especially the knife in the sink one, and to be honest, I’m still working on a solution for that one!) But in all seriousness, bitching about your job or your partner is not going to make you enjoy either of them any more, in fact, you’re just feeding in to the energy of WHY you hate them and the universe will continue to deliver reasons why in fact your perceptions are true. Bitching creates no space for solutions, it just amps up the problem. No Exceptions

So what is the solution?  I mean, there is no black and white answer as everyone’s needs and circumstances are different, but for starters, the easiest way to come up with a solution is to take a step back from your incessant whining and complaining and start asking yourself what you can do to change it. 

For example, your job sucks, you’re over worked, underpaid and under appreciated. You have options, whether you think you do or not. You can quit, or go back to school, put your resume on every job site available, take a pay cut at a job you love and work your way up the ladder, or do nothing and start finding things about your current job that you are grateful for. Every job has its down side but let me tell ya, if this has been your story since you started it back in 2015, then news flash, your friends are likely sick of hearing about it. There comes a point in all of our lives where we either need to, for lack of a better expression, shit or get off the pot.  

I’m a pretty patient person and fairly tolerant of peoples struggles, but sis, if you’ve been complaining about the same old song and dance for the last year or more, I’m gonna light a fire under your ass for you to either shift it or shut it. 

There are always solutions, the struggle is, the solutions you’re waiting for aren’t the easy ones, the obvious ones, or, simply put, they’re the tough decisions that you don’t really want to have to make because they might just turn your whole world upside down but your happiness is suffering as a result of avoiding them. The solutions are there, they’re always there, don’t let yourself get so wrapped up in dissecting the problem that it robs you of your ability to move beyond it