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Have you ever tried really hard to break a code, solve a puzzle, or work through a problem, and no matter how hard you try, no matter what resources you spend, you end up in the same place- unable to solve the problem but with a big ole headache?
Life's challenges are like that sometimes, particularly the big ones. Sometimes we feel like there's this huge hurdle ahead of us. It may be a relationship concern or a financial challenge or an academic problem, you name it. Whatever the problem is that we identify, we'd probably feel like it's insurmountable- like we're waves beating against a rock, but we don't have the time to wait until it turns to sand, right? So it's futile.
And so, we can get to a place where we're going through the motions of living: rising, perhaps saying our prayers, cleaning ourselves and beginning the routine of our days with no clue about how we're going to navigate through that obstacle that's blocking our sunlight.
Sometimes it can feel like you're stuck in the matrix and life is like this big cryptographic puzzle that you can't unlock. I've been there more times than I care to admit.
I've discovered however, that sometimes when problems are really too challenging to solve, arriving at an answer that serves us best can be as simple as 1, 2,3.
Step back and take your minds off of the problem for a bit, seek to relax, think of and do other things, and give your brains the space it needs to work as it should without the extra pressure.
Seek help from those who may have access to resources or be equipped with the tools you may need.
Accept that maybe what appears like a problem that requires you to solve it, really isn't a problem at all, and even if it is, it's not yours to solve.
Sometimes when we take time off from a problem, a little brain cooler, the answer comes to us without us actively seeking it, and we realize that the solution is so simple, maybe it might be something that was right in front of us all the time.
Sometimes, admittedly, it's not as simple as setting a problem down and walking away. Sometimes to solve a problem, we need support. And then it requires the humility to recognize that no man or woman can do everything on his or her own but must really trust in and rely on the beneficence of others.
Interestingly enough, both of the above solutions, as simple as they may seem, are the most difficult at all.
In the first instance, some people can't let go. In the second case, sometimes we don't like to accept that we are fallible or, even more, we don't like to let others know that there's a chink in our armor because we believe that to do so makes us vulnerable. And we don't want to lean into that because we do not accept maybe that vulnerability is a part of what makes us human.
Let's look at the third bit though: acceptance.
Every problem we encounter in life does not require our solution. Take a toxic relationship, for example, that you keep trying to fix. Or maybe it might be a connection that you're trying to form, access to a particular space or person that you're trying to get, approval that you're trying to win.
Maybe success here needs us to accept that things are as they are, beyond our circle of control because we can't solve and control everything, and that's okay. In fact, when we try to be stubborn and go against this natural law, it can be disastrous for us.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts, my friends, because in terms of my life's journey, this is where I am:
Taking a breather from problems I can't solve
Leaning into the vulnerability that is necessary to ask for help where I need to,
And learning to be comfortable with myself- who I am and where I am- without feeling the need to think of everything as a puzzle that needs to be unlocked. And so, accepting my life's journey for what it is.