Let’s be honest. We all have both. Throughout our lives. Young and old. Problems are those situations where our choices can help us breakthrough to get to a point we want to get to. Problems are things that get in the way of what we want to do.
Circumstances are more difficult. They get in the way of things too but are more complicated because most times we find ourselves in a “circumstance” through the choices and actions of others. Problems are more individual. Circumstances are the result most times of a larger group. Most times it involves family.
I am always fascinated by watching people discuss problems they are trying to solve. They proudly state either they know how to “fix them” or are at a complete loss. When I hear them talk about the solution with certainty before they implemented it means that they have not thought about the problem very much. Sadly, they are more focused on their ego and making sure we think highly of them.
What I have found very effective in problem solving is to not concentrate on what I don’t know but rather focus hard on what I do know about the “stuff” around the problem.
Cut the problem up into pieces and lay them out on a table like a puzzle. Don’t worry how they are going to be put together to get to a workable solution. Just keep trying to identify more pieces around the problem. You would be surprised how this helps better define the problem for you and makes it easier to see ways to solve it.
People approach circumstances differently. Discussions about them almost always are made up of complaints. Judgments about how dumb someone else is or how could they do that because they should know better. Helplessness is prominent in their voices in expressing their frustration.
We give people too much credit when they are part of our “circumstance”. That they know what they did and that this would happen. Circumstances are more like a nuclear reactor where atoms collide randomly, sometimes with great force not knowing where their collision will take them.
Love, patience, and the ability to continually try to understand and teach are more important in circumstances because they are not obstacles that are stopping us in getting somewhere but distractions that eat up the energy in our lives. Blaming others feeds the distraction and should be avoided at all costs. What happened yesterday cannot change. It is written in history forever.
Patience, forgiveness, and humility become much more powerful when you’re in the middle of a “circumstance”. Judging others is the worst thing you can do if you really want to help get past the “bad stuff”.
Approach circumstances as if the others do not know how else to handle a situation. They didn’t know better. Try to help them understand other possibilities and do not focus on the damage that is already done. Help them understand that their outcome could have been different with a different choice.
Much easier said than done. People in the middle of stuff usually don’t want to listen. Family members especially. That is where we need the faith and the strength to show love, patience and compassion and be the better example for others to recognize (they may not follow) as time brings everyone more clarity and peace once the emotions have passed.
Always remember that In circumstances,
all we can do with certainty
is decide how we will react
when in the middle of them.