Friday, February 3, 2012

What's Your Problem?

What's Your Problem? ©2012 Joan M. Newcomb 

This week has been a big one for transitions.  Don Cornelius died, and I know of a couple people who jumped on the Soul Train with him.  And a couple more who were surprised with serious health challenges.  And a few who have been hit with unexpected financial problems.

It's been an emotional week, with so many people in my field having such direct, in-your-face painful experiences.

I realized I need to break things down, because all the trauma in my world is really happening to other people, not to me.  I feel impaired from being able to spontaneously travel to a funeral, but it wasn't my relative who died.

I can feel compassion for the people with serious health challenges, but it's their body, not mine, that are having them.

When I take on other people's problems, it doesn't solve their dilemma, and distorts my own.

As I write that, I can see it's a tricky issue.  If you have young children or special needs children, you *are* responsible for their well being.  You have to care for them, advocate for them, they can't do it for themselves. 

But if you're emotionally in that wheel chair or hospital bed with them, you can't be a clear-headed supporter for them.

You have to be aware of what *your* problem is, first.

With everyone else's problems on your mind, it could feel like the end of the world.  Separating it out, you discover your problem may simply be not enough sleep, and the solution could be to figure out how to take a nap. 

Some (many) people's problems are not your concern at all.  Your adult child being unemployed, your teenager being unhappy in love, your sister going through a divorce - these aren't your issues.  They need to figure those things out.

When you untangle from everyone else's "stuff", your own stuff becomes more manageable.

If you have a problem, inherently you have the solution.  What isn't yours is overwhelming and more than you can handle.

Your problem can be broken down, as well.  You can handle whatever needs to be handled in the moment.  You can't handle what the future has in store.  For one thing, it hasn't happened yet.  It hasn't even come into form.  Your present actions set things in motion to manifest the future.

Future tripping can paralyze you.  Most of the time the thing you dread never comes to pass anyway, and you wasted a lot of emotional energy instead of enjoying what's in front of you.
Life is a series of moments, one flows into the other, sometimes one thing builds upon the other.

When you're in the present moment, your problem isn't a problem any more.  In the present moment, often problems cease to exist, as the perfect solution appears.

Today it's nearly 60 degrees, in Washington DC, in February.  That alone is a miracle.  That's something to appreciate and enjoy.   If I'd stayed tied up in knots about things I can't control, I would have missed the opportunity.

So today, this week, if you choose to, ask yourself 'what's my problem'? 
Break it down, what's theirs, what's yours.  Drop other's "stuff".  Bring yours into present focus, leave the future for when it unfolds.  Do what you can immediately, and leave the rest.

And watch how things transform!

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