Friday, June 14, 2013

how a little space can change everything

We all have times in our lives when problems become overwhelming. In my mind, I know that when this happens the best thing to do is to go for a change of scenery. Whether it’s to get out of the house and go for a long walk, or head out to a lake to sit by the water, a change of scenery will give us a temporary break from whatever it is that’s causing distress. That temporary break will give us the breather we need to settle ourselves and perhaps rethink the nature of the problem. It may even give us the space to think creatively and come up with a solution. But at the very least it will give us a reminder that there are things going on in the world other than the problems that are looming over us. 

I try hard, when my problem is with another person, to stop, breathe and avoid a quick reaction or response. I’ll admit, I don’t always succeed, but I do try. In this day of text messaging, e-mailing and Facebook posting, the quick reaction is much too easy. It’s one of the perils of our time. A quick response can result in an adrenaline-driven comment that will leave scars or could even be misplaced.
But what if the problem is with another person and their “truth” is just as valid as your “truth? Is it possible that there can be no real solution? Once we realize that there can be no reconciliation because there are two valid truths, then there’s a shift, a change in our perspective, and the problem changes. Maybe we relax a bit. We have to avoid the pitfall, though, of trying to convince the other person of our truth, which will only extend and exacerbate the problem. It is indeed possible that there can be no good solution, just a reordering of how you view the situation. Perhaps you just have to resolve to let it go for the sake of the relationship, if that relationship is valuable to you. It doesn’t change your truth, but it resolves the conflict. That’s what the space can give us when we don’t immediately take the bait and react. It gives us the room to change our mind about the problem. The space can change everything.     

1 comment:

Tracy Altieri said...

So true. As I age, I have gotten much better at setting aside my need to "be right". This has been a long road, I admit, but has made some things so much easier. That's not to say that I won't stick to what I value, but to acknowledge that not everything is black and white.