When you are caught up in a problem, it is very hard to see your way out. It’s like being trapped in a maze. You can see the outside, where you want to be, but you just cannot find the right path that will lead you to the exit gate.
It’s so frustrating. You keep trying. You do your best. However, you can’t find your way out. And there is no one to help you either. It is your problem. And you are trapped in it.
So, does it require a new way? Everything you’re currently trying isn’t working. Everything you know is not providing the solution.
Having done everything you can think of and having become frustrated, you still can’t seethe solution. What else can you do? So maybe it requires a new way.
Here’s an answer to consider.
Stop trying so hard to find your way out. Just sit down and distance yourself from the problem. Stop trying so hard to work it out. Obviously all you know does not contain the solution. You need a new way. So stop thinking. Stop doing. Stop running around,frustrated, confused, concerned. Sit down. Don’t think. Distance yourself from the problem.
Take a holiday in your mind. Give yourself a full break from the problem.
The solution seems elusive. It is subtle. It is hard to grasp. OK. Leave it alone. Let it go. You need a new way, a different path, to take you to the solution.
If everything of your old world does not give you what you want, then it is time for a new way. It is time for a fresh new way of thinking, time to look at things in a different way.
So, step 1, stop thinking about the problem. You can’t stop thinking. However, you can put the problem aside. Place it in an imaginary box and leave it there for now. You know where it is. You can access it whenever you want. You can deal with it later. It hasn’t gone away.It is still yours. It is still there. What you have achieved is that you have put a little distance between you and the problem.
It’s good to put it in the box at the end of the day, deciding firmly to open it again in the morning. That way, at least, you will get a good night’s sleep. You never know. You might wake up with the answer.
The same applies to an emotional bind.
Someone has you tied in knots. You can’t think straight. Every time you see that individual you get upset or nervous or angry. This person seems to have a negative effect on you.
You feel that you cannot control it.
However, maybe you live with this person and you cannot leave. Or the situation is in your workplace and you need the job. Or maybe it’s your partner or your mother or your brother or your son or someone so close that you cannot walk away and you cannot stay away.
But you’re not happy either.
How to stop situations like this having such a strong influence over you?
How to stop them affecting you in this way?
Again distance helps. You may not be able to leave. So, while you may not be able to put physical distance between you, you can choose to create an emotional distance. Choose to step away from that person in your mind. Visualise yourself at a distance, far away. See yourself somewhere else in a place where you feel whole. The situation, in which the individual, whose behaviour might have seemed so important, is now beyond your thinking.
Stay with this visualisation for as long as you can. Work on building up this practice so that you can go there and stay for as long as you need to. That can be your sanctuary, your safe place.
While you are in that safe place, in your mind, in your imagination, no one can touch you. You will be having a break from the pressure, from the emotional rollercoaster. That calm space will give balance and strength. You will be able to smile and not take in whatever you experience as negative feelings that are being directed towards you.
Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Appreciate yourself. Pamper yourself for a while in your special place. Nothing can upset you there. Nothing can influence your emotions there.
Nothing can ‘rock your boat’. You will be able to stay emotionally steady.
This will give you the space you need to think in a reasonable manner and find what you want: the solution to this relationship problem. Be in your safe place for as long as you need. If this person is in front of you, expressing strong words and feelings, in your safe place you will not be upset. You are at the border control of your safe haven. The border
crossing is closed. There is no passport for entry. Only peaceful and loving people can enter your safe haven. So go there and stay there whenever you need to for as long as you choose.
After a while come back to the problem, now that you’ve had a break. You’ve had a rest.Maybe you have even had a good night’s sleep. Did a solution come?
If a solution did not come, then do not touch the box. Let it sit there, unopened. Occupy yourself elsewhere. Take care of your day-to-day tasks. Get jobs done, whatever needs doing. Don’t think about your problem. It’s in the box. Leave it there. Take as long as you need. In fact, allow yourself all the time it takes either for a solution to surface in your mind
or for the problem to resolve itself.
Many problems are not really problems at all. We think they are problems. I have many examples of this in my life. Can you think of any examples from your life experience?
It’s the way we see things. To us something might appear to be a problem but to others it is nothing. Yet we pick it up and hold on to it, making it grow into something very big and overwhelming.
You may say: No, I don’t do this. Just reflect on this: with your problem stored in that box, has your life fallen apart? Has anything major happened to destroy your world?
No? Isn’t that interesting? Why has that problem so overwhelmed you, if you can function just fine, even while the so-called problem is sitting right there in the box?
So, if what you see as a problem arrives at your door, can’t you just put it in that box and get on with things, knowing that it is not going to destroy your world? It is just a problem that requires a solution. So it has to go in the solution box. And the solution will arrive at the right time.
It’s like waiting for an egg to hatch. Just keep checking the box from time to time, if you must, to see if the solution has hatched yet. If it hasn’t, then it’s not yet ready to hatch.
Everything has its own time. Be patient and wait. It will come. Or the problem may justdissolve into space, while you are busy with other things and have totally forgotten about it.
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