Friday, November 16, 2007

The Alternative Approach to Problem Solving

A few years ago a friend (lets call her "M") told me that she had a friend who was forever complaining about a situation in her life, whether it was her job or living with her mother. My friend used to helpfully offer her solutions about looking for another job and a new place to live, none of which her friend took a blind bit of notice of.

It then dawned on M that her friend didn't actually want to solve the problem(s) at all. She just liked talking about them!

Do you know people in your life like this, who are forever complaining about a situation, but takes no steps to resolve it? Are you that person? Such people can be seen as energy vampires, you mistakenly think that they are asking for assistance, but they are just venting and you are draining your energy in seeking to help them.

But why would they complain about situations they have no intention of resolving? It doesn't make sense. Or does it?

Actually, it makes a lot of sense.

Reasons for long standing or recurring problems

1. Being wedded to the problem

Problems are often a way of protecting you from seeing and feeling a deeper and more profound truth about yourself. When I use the phrase "being wedded to the problem", I mean literally that, because getting a divorce from them feels very threatening. Long standing problems in particular often form part of our identity. We begin to see them as part of us. But they are NOT us. They are mental, emotional and energetic constructs which obscures our true essence and power.

2. Connection by complaint

Some friendships and relationships are based on connecting via problems and complaints. It's what I call "connection by complaint". Bonding takes place for reasons of safety, survival and often via crisis or dependency. If you make the conscious decision to start connecting from a more empowered place, rather than a problem based one, this could mean the end of the relationship.

I've noticed that some older people often connect by talking their age related ailments. This also operates as a form of bonding, something that they have in common. Another example is of an overprotective parent always worrying about an adult child. The worry is subconsciously serving a positive function for the parent, as they may believe that their worry shows that they care and that they are connected to their child, rather than disempowering them.

Another variant on this is connection by conflict. Having a common enemy gives individuals common ground to connect. Scapegoating is often the result. In personal relationships, frequent arguments, fights and drama may be the only way that is known to connect to a partner.

3. Home Alone

Many of us are afraid that true empowerment means that we'll end up alone. It's as if somehow we won't be loved unless we have problems or perceive that we have problems. If we're seen as too self sufficient, people may not gravitate towards us.

We will not be seen as human, as vulnerable or having feet of clay. Problems keep us grounded. So we will often hold onto our problems because we feel that we are loved for having them. Having problems connects us to others and may make us feel more compassionate than we might otherwise be. Problems also provide us with attention.

Energetic resolutions

Resolutions to long standing or recurring problems can often be found in our energetic field and subconscious, where they resist traditional problem solving techniques. If you want to find alternative ways to resolving long standing problems, then look at doing the following.

1. Start asking yourself questions

This is actually the hardest part, because asking yourself incisive questions means that you'll come up with answers that you may not be willing to hear! However, as we shall see, you can use simple energetic techniques to start releasing your resistance. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • What is the advantage of having this problem?
  • What is the downside to not having this problem?
  • What is the problem protecting you from?
  • How safe will you feel not having this problem?
  • What do you fear not having this problem will expose you to?Why have you defined it as a problem?

The answers to what is going on will help you realise how your problem is assisting you. Without knowing what is at the root of a longstanding or recurring problem often means that people try harder to resolve it at a conscious level. But traditional problem solving techniques have been tried on long standing problems, so if they're not working they're is something else going on.

For instance, if repeated attempts to find a job aren't working, you may want to consider that you actually don't want a job at all. It is likely to be that unconscious conflicts are preventing you from finding a job. It might be that the job that you are qualified to do or have been doing is no longer aligned with who you are.

But rather than admit that to yourself or other people, which could well be very threatening, you go through the motions of looking for a job, not getting it, because you are vibrationally aligned with it and then you can say: "Well I tried, but I didn't get it" and people will sympathise because at least you've been trying or seen to be trying.

2. Allow yourself to want to keep the problem

Paradoxically, once you acknowledge that you want to keep hold of the problem (especially if you now know how it is serving you), it often becomes less of a problem, as you can now begin to see it for the illusion that it actually is. Let it be okay to have and to hold. Admit to yourself that your problem is serving you and that,in some ways, you actually enjoy it; it provides you with attention, justification, your ego just loves it. Lighten up around the problem and it lightens its grip on you.

Remember that problems are illusory. They just seem real and often we manifest physical symbols and responses to our feelings and energetic patterns towards problems.

3. Release the energetic pattern of the problem

One way to view a long standing problem is to use your imagination and see it as an energetic pattern which can be released. This is what the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) does, it releases the negative energy and beliefs which the problem consists of. Because we are often wedded to our problems, EFT offers a way for us to detach from the problem by allowing us to state all our feelings around the problems, whilst releasing the energy behind it.

It allows to us to state all of the feelings that we often feel uncomfortable about saying, but are within our belief system and energetic patterning. Try using EFT whilst asking yourself incisive questions about your problem and see what your unconscious brings up. You may be very surprised! Alternatively, visit an EFT Practitioner, at least for a couple of sessions to start getting to what is behind a long standing or recurring problem


At November 12, 2008 3:56 AM, Anonymous Mirra said...

This is great info to know.


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