I’ve heard the saying, “Knowing the Problem in Half the Solution” said throughout the course of my life.
It rang true for me once I became self-aware enough to reflect on my life, its circumstances, my attitudes and perceptions, understood my role in events, and what I genuinely wanted from life to enhance my happiness.
It’s crucial for me to understand why I’m feeling whatever I’m feeling, especially since I deal with depression. It bothers me to feel down and not know why. I’ll sit and reflect, pick apart pieces of my life, analyze personal interactions, and ponder the meaning of those things. I’m usually able to figure out what situation has caused a new crevice to appear in my mood. Once I have a name or can pinpoint a reason for my feelings, I then work on resolving them.
My way of handling things isn’t everyone’s way. I recognize and accept that. Where I have a challenge is when the person talking to me is also in the clinical field. My mindset has been the way it is from before I began studying psychology. I’m convinced it’s simply the way my brain has always worked. I’ve always functioned more effectively when I had answers. When I encounter another clinician or social worker with a challenge or limitation, I listen to what they say as well as what they don’t say. If one tells me of a problem or what they’ve learned about themselves, how they’ve handled their life and emotions and their stance remains the same, I question to validity of “knowing the problem is half the solution.”
I’ve realized that knowing is part of the solution for those who are genuinely able and willing to combat the darkness within themselves and strive toward an enlightened life. I’ve accepted that some are so comfortable with the darkness, they prefer it because without it they don’t know who they are, or how to act or react. The thought of being in a new headspace is so foreign to them they’d rather stay where things are familiar. I find it sad because they’ll never have the life they say they want unless they make a change. The choice to remain the same means their life, friendships, and relationships will also remain the same – primarily in turmoil, unhealthy, unstable, and unfulfilling.
What do I do? I simply listen. I validate their words. I congratulate them on sharing what they’ve learned about themselves. I also encourage them to go further than the acknowledgement of their problem and to begin working on changing their mindset. I suggest they strive toward building themselves up through therapy to work on resolving old perspectives, and emotionally strengthening themselves, to become the new person they say they want to become. The challenge of emotionally growing is theirs not mine. I can be a support and lend an ear. I cannot do their work for them.
If you’re in a situation where you’ve realized a challenge within yourself and a desire change, here’s a non-exhaustive list of things you can do to help you get to where you want to go:
_ understand it’ll be an emotional journey,
_ commit to working through the challenge; don’t give up when things become difficult,
_ build a strong support network; preferably attend counseling,
_ be open, and reflect, on your behaviors, feelings, and thoughts,
_ understand how you’ve been a factor in your unhappiness, isolation, and unfulfillment regarding friendships and relationships,
_ accept objective suggestions given to help you create healthy emotional boundaries,
_ recognize that those you’ve disengaged from may not be where you left them, and know it’s okay for you to move forward in your life with or without them,
_ people you’ve previously disregarded don’t need to validate you or necessarily be a part of your process
_ be patient with yourself; change is a process
_ know that change may bring discomfort, which I call growing pains, because you’re growing into a new person
_ learn to love the person you’re becoming
We’re all growing in some way each day, through various situations, and choose what we want for our lives whether consciously or subconsciously. I encourage you to become a conscious person, think about what you desire, what you want, how to achieve your desired life, and work toward that; make decisions that’ll propel you in that direction.
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