Woah, Back Up a Bit!

The common denominator I am feeling when I hear from people is the sense of being overwhelmed. Many people have things that are bothering them and they seem to be able to identify what the problems are if they had two solid weeks to share. This isn’t anyone’s fault; it’s simply what happens when problems accumulate.

My initial response with just about everyone in my life is, ‘Woah, back up a bit.’ It’s like tuning into a movie right at the height of the plot and I have no clue what is going on. They don’t even realize they are starting the conversation with characters and storylines that I haven’t heard before. This is an indication of how overwhelmed many people are.

I used to go to Mom for everything because I could just pick up where I left off. There’s something very cool about that. If someone already knows the history of your story, you don’t have to get them up to speed. You also don’t have to hear the same words come out of your mouth over and over which may be painful to deal with. It’s nice to have that person in your life who just knows you.

There is something to be said though about having a fresh perspective with someone who can shed some new light on an old situation, so it can be worth it to start from the beginning, as painful as that sounds.

The more I hear about everyone’s problems, the more I think people are either biting off more than can chew or they are taking on unnecessary fights that they can choose to omit from the equation.

I think I can fairly confidently say that I have had more problems in my life than one person should have to deal with, but I will also admit I gave way to much attention to some of the problems. That attention doubled, tripled and often quadrupled my problems.

There is a domino effect that happened with me. I would have a problem with someone and then I found all sorts of other problems with them because I didn’t like them. It’s like your husband doesn’t spend time with you so you start getting mad at every habit he has and every flaw, real, imagined or inflated. Basically, we add problems and annoyances on because geeze, we just don’t have enough drama, right?

Generally we do this to build a case against them. It’s like we are in court proving to them that they suck by adding as many criminal charges onto the list as possible in order to prove we are hurting.

We also allow the smaller problems to take up too much of our valuable time. Family gossip, world news and religious/political dialog are things we seem to hurl ourselves into even though we clearly don’t have the time or energy to add those topics onto our plate. We could be in the middle of a divorce and we’ll join some online anti-something or other movement and start fighting online when the relationship needs our attention and clear head. It’s not fair to ask our souls to do this!

Can you imagine how much easier it would be to solve a marital spat if everything outside of that problem was really positive? If we woke up in the morning and went for a jog or a walk, ate a decent breakfast and opened the curtains to let the sun in, I’m sure we would be in a better headspace to correct some of the problems. It’s hard because we don’t feel like doing positive things when something important is failing, but how could it make it any worse?

If a relationship is going down the drain, why are we arguing over the color of paint in the living room or nag about the grass not being cut? Is the person who is sitting across from us not more important than paint and grass? I believe we should be willing to give everything up to make that work…including imagined or inflated problems.

So when I say, ‘Woah, back up a bit’ I feel like I am saying it so many times because I am hearing the superficial issues which are only symptoms of the bigger problem. I’m not going to say most problems I hear are boiled down to one, but that is more accurate than saying everyone has a thousand real problems. We may have several bad things happen, we may be getting stones thrown at us daily, but the amount of stones are not the problem, it’s the stone-hurling that is the issue. Who is throwing them and why? It’s not helpful to say, ‘Today I had fifteen stones thrown at me, that’s twice as many as yesterday.’

Now, I won’t say I am giving the ‘Haters of the World’ (you know the phrase I don’t like very much) a free pass or letting them off the hook, I simply have to pick and choose my battles in order to keep my spirit strong and to be able to work at a functional capacity. This means, if a problem is going to tip my scales in a negative way, I’m not going to worry about it.

I also get rid of family gossip and external issues which take time away from me loving my friends and family. I would rather sit down with family and play guitars than talk garbage around the table. That kind of bonding time will ensure we never have a split. Sure there are issues we all have, but which ones are time stealers?

Letting the grass die in order for growth to happen,

Karen :)

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~Albert Einstein

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