I am not the solution…

I am guilty as charged. I cannot look at ANY situation where I am not immediately figuring out a solution. Before asked, as the situation is unfolding or being described, I am solving. Is it a control “thing” is it “servant leadership” or is it a need to be needed? I tend to think it’s a combination of the three. Regardless of which it is, it is not working FOR me, and many times it is not work FOR them either.

There I said it! Admitting you have a problem is the first step…ha! Oh and the irony is that because I have identified it as a “problem” I now have to find a solution! Ha-ha! Let the cycle of solving begin…GO!

I don’t know where this started but I know it has to end. It has to stop because it is exhausting me. I am always giving, giving, giving to the point that I have nothing left. Stretched so thin I end up coming up short on my offerings and leave nothing left for myself. Interesting is that since identifying this issue I have been more observant of my reactions when a problem arises. I am shocked at how fast my brain is solving for others; even more so now that I am forcing myself to hold back the offers.

it is not a “bad” thing but is unnecessary. I find that where I have resources I want to offer them. That is not bad, right? Except that everyone else has resources as well and hence they can find solutions without mine. My examples of solving go from the most mundane to the ridiculous.

  • Yesterday while spending the day with my cousins one of them noted that they had lost the measuring spoon for their coffee machine. Immediately I think “Oh I have a second one that she can have.” She does not need my measuring spoon…and she definitely was not looking for a solution.
  • When going to lunch recently (and many times before) as we approach the counter to order our lunch I invite my friends behind me to order with me; and hence I pay for lunch. My reasoning? To not hold up the line with multiple orders! Really…I am solving for the restaurant?

The examples I offer are minimal compared to the norm of my offerings that do leave me depleted. What I am learning in these greater examples is that “they” will solve for themselves if you let them. This is a fact as I have seen it play out twice in the last month. Where I thought I was the only solution, when I removed myself, the solutions were found and quite frankly they were better than I could have offered. In both cases neither asked me to solve, I volunteered myself and when I was not able to fulfill that offer I was left feeling badly while they found other options; in both cases better options. Those alternative solutions ended up being a much better result for me as well to which I was grateful. This brings about another subject altogether as the reason I was grateful is that if I had been “the solution” for those situations it would have caused measurable sacrifice for me. I am not opposed to sacrificing for those I love or things I value however I don’t reserve sacrificing for those but instead sacrifice for all.

Now that the problem has been identified the solve is mine to take on, for me. I am now holding back from offering solutions immediately to every single things that rises. I am now saying “Thank You” when someone offers me a solution versus fighting back; and I am finding that it is nice to have others do for me. Most importantly I am taking the energy expended on solving for everyone else and redirecting it to solve for myself. What I want matters most to me and I realized through this process that while I was giving to everyone “else” I was coming up short for myself, leaving me dissatisfied.

Ultimately what I know is that if someone needs something from me they will ask and to insert myself is simply not necessary. What is necessary, solving for myself. Living the life I want to live without unnecessary sacrifices.

Life as I see it – L.

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