To even attempt a solution to any problem you are faced with, you need to first step outside of the problem, detaching yourself from it.
Problems don’t have a mind of their own. A problem is a problem because you see it as one. Interestingly, a problem does not even know it exists and does not even know that its existence poses a problem to you! It is your mind that sees a problem, defines it as big or small and responds with fear, worry and anxiety or, at times, with nonchalance and/or callousness.
Know that you cannot solve a problem by fearing it. Nor can you solve it by being in it! So, really, to solve a problem, and there will be many in Life, you have to step outside the problem. You have to be an observer to your own Life situation and ask yourself what is it that the person in the problem situation must do to solve it? And, interestingly again, if you can step outside and be an observer of your own Life, the most profound awakening__that you have to do nothing about anything__will sweep you in its wake! Yet, while this may be a very simpler way of looking at Life, despite being an observer, you may want to and be inclined to pursue some action on a practical plane. At least you will want to attempt something. Do that by all means, but do that dispassionately. Focusing only on what needs to get done. Go about attempting your solution in a clinical sort of way. Don’t engage with any emotion. Work with the spirit of – “some things have to be done, let’s just do them”. Period.
Let’s say you are struggling with a relationship issue. It’s been going on for years. Nothing has worked between the two of you. Yet every time you propose a solution, speak with a voice of reason, you have been ridiculed. You have been ostracized in the family. And each episode has only grown your grief. The relationship is a burden that you carry with you. You are tired, want to be free and in peace. So, why not step out of the situation? Ask yourself, what would you have done if you were looking at this from the outside and advising someone else? Well, possibly, you would have advised a complete breakaway between the two people who find each other difficult to deal with. Sure. But please also advocate the separation without any bitterness. You can even advise a legal separation when two spouses are involved. But what do you do in a mother-son or a brother-sibling relationship? At best you can advise, just walking away.
Understand that sometimes, some things, including close relationships will not work out in Life. Time changes. People change. So, it’s best to leave the other person to herself or himself. Just stay away. No resolution is needed. No treaty is to be signed. Face it: the relationship isn’t working out. So be it. Let it be. You don’t spoil your peace and don’t spoil the peace of the other party too. This may not make the relationship any better but it solves the problem that’s arisen from the relationship issue.
Now contrast this approach with the conventional one where you try remaining engaged in the relationship and therefore bring in emotions into play while also attempting a resolution. Some typical responses: Why should I walk away? I have done nothing wrong. Why can’t that person understand? Isn’t it basic common sense that we can’t continue to behave like juveniles? What about the future, what if we spar again? The issue will never get resolved this way. It will only get vitiated. Because either party will want to prove that she or he is right. The egos are hurt. So each one will fight back.
Wishing problems away or attempting to solve them when you are in its throes is not going to make any problem easier to solve! While, as I said, the best approach is to let problems be, even as you too just be, if you must at all attempt a solution, do it by detaching yourself from the situation. Intelligent living is continuously making a conscious choice on when to act on and when to accept Life. Dealing with problems, interestingly, requires a bit of both __ action and acceptance!