Are your Problems really your Problems?
Updated: Sep 5, 2018
Flip your perception of how you view your life & it's problems & lighten their load.
Problems....sigh...we all have them, but here's a perception "What if your problems were in fact your strengths?
"SAY WHAT?" "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"
MY problems are exactly that, MY problems! MMMM, not necessarily I will argue! A client told me I should see a therapist when I told them that last week, I laughed & explained how I had found it to be true. Remember that annoying Jack Sparrow quote from The Pirates of The Carribean?......
"YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT INFACT YOUR PROBLEM,IT'S YOUR ATTITUDE
TO YOUR PROBLEM THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!"
& indeed I do agree with Mr.Sparrow on this one!
I have flipped my perception of a problem & found that in fact they are my strengths & my solutions.
I had, like most people a long list of problems swirling around in my head, taking up head space & just adding to them daily.
Believing like most of us that I just had to carry them around. We carry all sorts in our heads, Money stories, self esteem Issues, comparisons we make for ourselves to others, larger problems like relationship issues, anxiety, family problems, are to name but a few.
We carry those heavy bags & just add to that ever increasing load, it's no wonder anxiety & stress are on the rise. We juggle everything, work , family commitments, partners, friends & a lot of us add to that the pressure of how we are measuring up, creating bigger problems in our already overcrowded head space. Worth remembering that for every cleverly curated Facebook Feed or Pic worthy Insta Post or Pinterest ideal , there is a person behind that, that isn't as problem free as you may think.
If I had a pound for every time a friend or client has said to me "I look at other peoples lives & they seem so together, I'm not like that", creating in them a problem that needs fixing, I'd be a billionaire by now!!
The way in which we compare is often a sneaky one, & often we do it without even realising it. I'm going to add a pic of my work space to this blog to show the reality of 'having your shit together' It's not as perfect as some would believe!!!! It's also not all fun, frolics & easy living. My problems are still sitting there in the organised chaos of notes & household lists of to do things that certainly won't get done today or any day soon infact!!! The fridge isn't always full, the kids will moan there is nothing to eat (their nothing & my nothing are 2 different things though !! ) There is always plenty of washing that needs doing , the daily phone calls to my Dads carers, the dog to walk, a business to run , a new business to market & still find time for friends & maybe even wash my hair!! The list overwhelms some days & yes there are some days that I want to hibernate under the duvet & not come out, but in that list of small, insignificant problems comes the creativity to write, to plan, to run errands, to time manage & to give myself the permission to not always complete the list, in other words I let go of all that as it could become a bigger problem if I let it. I have recently recognised the need to put myself higher up on that list, self care is essential when giving so much to everyone & everything else.
I've seen many a client come to me when they are completely burnt out & have nothing left to give, their problem then becomes a block as it often manifests itself in physical symptoms of stress or illness.
I have come pretty close to that point several times myself, but rather than let a problem consume me I've found that I do have strength to deal with & recognise impeding frazzle status!!
In a client session last week, I could really identify with what the client had come to me for, & it did get me thinking more about how I deal with hidden resentment.
She was holding on to childhood resentment, stemming from her alcoholic mother & the emotional & physical neglect she had suffered as a child.
Her emotional needs were hugely neglected & she grew up with a toxic love/hate/misplaced loyalty relationship with her mum. But out of that scenario came huge strength & resilience, she had never looked at herself that way. She also possessed a dynamic drive to forge out a business & life that she wanted for her children that she never had, she also had great capacity for love, amazing considering her main source of love as a child had been denied to her. She wanted help in releasing that resentment that was now creeping into her adult life.
She knew she didn't want to end up the bitter alcoholic like her mum, but was becoming spiteful when she had a few too many drinks. That was what she feared the most, ending up like her mum, we worked through all of that for her to see she was nothing like her mum, the very opposite & had the skills & personality to achieve all that she set her mind to. So rather than that being a burden, she could recognise all her strength from that heart ache.
She flipped the perception of what she saw as problems & found all the answers in herself & a new found freedom.
It made me think about what resentment I held onto,of how I carried those resentments & made them into problems.
I resented my children's father for the hurt he had caused them, his apparent lack of commitment to his children & that re-creating of destruction that he is so good at.
I resented my parents choices in life that had impacted my brother & I, I resented the memory of being left outside a pub for hours, or waiting for my Dad to pick me up, always hours later than arranged. I resented my mum for not having the capacity to show her love. I resented the memory of them both drinking.
I resented judgements that had been dealt my way over the years, judgements I felt I could never give my side to. I resented choices made by others that had hurt me.
I resented the memories of judgment being dished out to my kids because of who their Dad was. I resented old wounds that seemingly wouldn't heal.
My first thought was "shit thats a lot of resentment, maybe I do need a therapist!!"
I had no idea I had carried all that for so long & anyone that knows me personally would never have guessed that. It wasn't until I looked deeply that I didn't see it either, but now with fresh eyes & understanding I found so much strength in all that resentment & that was an instant load lightener!
In the resentment I felt towards my kids Dad, I saw that actually I had huge strength, having had the skill to be a single parent at one time, I saw balance, the loneliness I had felt was also a strength in my resilience. The resentment that I had previously held to that single status was shattered when I realised this. I had created in my children a life of understanding balance, to talk about what upset them, to not hold onto resentment themselves & to be proud of who they are.
The resentment I had held for my parents had, in fact given me strong parenting skills as I was able to recognise where the emotional gaps had been for me, I could make sure my children didn't ever feel those same holes.
The unfair judgements had been huge life lessons & in turn gave me a strong identity of who I am. The actions of others, rather than seeing them as flaws are also life lessons & great teachers in behaviour & it's understanding. The resentment I had held onto for Dads situation & it's untimely taking away of his personality has led to a whole new level of empathy & understanding frustration, not only frustration on his part but also for anyone in a caring role.
The resentment to holding on to old wounds has been by far the greatest release for me.
That release of it's heavy load has given me the greatest sense of freedom, of being grounded & being connected to my purpose so much more strongly than before.
It's given me an inner happiness that doesn't shift according to what is going on around me or what appears on my news feed.
Seeing clients let go of their problems is as equally as heart warming, especially when it is an anxious teen or child.
Problems for children & teens feel so much bigger to them than the adult they are confiding in. I've seen too many children & teens who's problems stem from the self comparison they do on social media, their sense of self being rated against a snap chat story or insta post. Heart wrenching to hear a witty, clever, beautiful 15 year old say they are fat compared to.... they aren't popular compared to.... They are ugly compared to..... the list goes on, & yes it is a challenge to get them to see their strengths in their problems. I don't give up on them, I focus on where they feel strongest, where they feel they have a talent, where they are good at something & get them to flip the perception of whats around them. Allowing them to see where their beauty is, where their strengths are hidden & not accept the label they are being told they are.
I teach young, old & myself not to accept judgement, not to let that in & make something into a bigger problem, to let go of resentment & flip the perception of what it means.
When the to-do list is overwhelming, & the comparisons start creeping in, stop it dead in it's tracks.
Stop comparing to what you think you should be, when the problems are in personal relationships, look into where lies a solution, look at with love, not resentment & you'll find yourself better able to come to a resolve or move on.
Question what you think are your problems & when fear or guilt leave you heavy hearted let go of the resentment that is holding you back.
When I saw where my resentment was held it gave me the feeling of being weighed down, of not being able to let go of what had hurt me. And on many occasion had given me a physical headache. Once I worked out how to let go of resentment those heavy, stagnant feelings left me completely.
I don't wake up searching for the problem of the day, I can go to sleep freely & peacefully without having a list of thoughts that need addressing.
I promise you your problems will start to feel a whole lot lighter when your perception of them truly changes & you will feel the benefits of letting go of them.
So don't let your problem be your problem, allow it to be your answers & if you need help in getting to grips with what holds you back, seek that help to transform your own life.
For help in understanding & change Contact : Startthefreedom@gmail.com