i’m a solution-oriented individual. when presented with a problem (mine, yours, or ours), my mind brainstorms for possible solutions. when you present me with a problem (yours or ours), the first step i take is to listen and ask questions in order to fully understand the problem. einstein said that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” before brainstorming for solutions, i must accurately comprehend the parameters of the perceived problem. sometimes the problem is a matter of perspective. sometimes our problems are only problems because of our limited viewpoint.
a friend of mine argues that not all problems have solutions. i disagree. i believe that problems have solutions, but sometimes the problem must be reframed in order to be solved. sometimes reframing a problem into something that is perceived as “not a problem” is the solution. i have another friend who is a master of reframing. she often reframes my problematic perceptions for me. for example, last week when she asked how i was feeling, i said that i was feeling “somewhat sickish.” she then asked if that meant i also felt “somewhat wellish.” yes, i did. feeling somewhat “wellish” focuses my thoughts and energy on my health rather than my sickliness.
“how can I best support you right now?” i know to ask this question, but i sometimes forget to ask. jumping into problem-solving mode before asking this question is a common mistake. sometimes we’re not ready to hear or act on solutions to our problems. sometimes we need more time to clarify the nature of our problem. sometimes i don’t have a problem that requires solving, only a heart that hurts and longs to be held. sometimes you don’t have a problem that needs solving, only frustration or anger that needs expressing. sometimes we don’t have a problem to be solved, only old wounds that need to be acknowledged. before trying to solve a problem, please remember to ask, “how can i best support you right now?” sometimes all we need is to know that we are not alone, that someone wants to help, that support is available, that someone will make the time and effort to listen and understand.
how can i best support you right now? please think about it and let me know.