Tired of your problems?
What if most of the things you think of as problems aren’t really problems? What if your problem is really an opportunity?
Recently, we were out of town for the weekend. We were headed to church before going home when my husband called (we were in separate cars) to tell me we had left a pair of shoes in our hotel room. Although I knew it would mean I would be late for Sacrament meeting, I turned around to go back and get the shoes. (FYI ~ I’m a pretty timely person and am rarely late for anything!) After checking and re-checking the hotel room, I went back to my car and found all of our shoes safely tucked inside our shoe bag.
I could have easily been upset with myself (for not checking the bag first) or upset with my husband (for not remembering he put the shoes in the bag), OR I could choose to not make a big deal out of it. I chose to giggle and just get back on the road.
Problems really aren’t problems until you think of them as problems (someone else could have thought it was a good thing to be late for church ;). In fact, focusing on the problem can sometimes be the problem because it prevents you from focusing on the solution or how to move forward.
One way to shift your thinking is to ask yourself, “So what?” Why does it matter that I returned to the hotel only to ultimately find the shoes in my trunk? If I make it mean it’s not OK to be wrong sometimes or there’s something wrong because I was late to church or I should have pulled over and checked the bag before driving 15 minutes back to the hotel and because I didn’t there’s something wrong with me ~ If I make this experience mean any of these things, that’s where the problem lies because I have the power to interpret the situation any way I want (i.e., better to check when I was only 10 miles away instead of 60 miles).
It boils down to this: your thinking is what causes the problem, not the particular situation (because the situation is just what happened, not your interpretation of what happened). And this really is good news because it gives you back the power!
(By the way, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t think about anything as a problem; just notice that it’s your thinking that’s making the problem.)
So, you’re worried about your son because he doesn’t go to Seminary (or think about your own reason for worrying). Your worry comes from what you’re thinking.
So what that he doesn’t go to Seminary?
Why does it matter to you?
What are you making it mean?
The answers to these questions will show you what’s really the problem because your answers are what you are thinking about this situation and it’s your thinking that’s causing the worry.
Becoming aware of what it is you are thinking and then recognizing how that thinking makes you feel is a powerful first step in finding the solution to your problem.
Try it for yourself:
Name your problem.
Write down all the reasons it’s a problem.
Ask: So what? Why does it matter to you? What are you making it mean?
Notice whether or not those thoughts are serving you. But also spend some time this week noticing how those thoughts make you feel.
If you want help with this process ~ so you can finally have some peace in your own parenting situation ~ schedule a free mini-session now and I’ll help you figure out what thoughts are really causing your problem.