Is it just me, or do you find that sometimes you completely ignore an obvious solution? I am a writer. I enjoy the act of putting words on a page even if they aren’t intended for anybody to ever read them. It makes me feel better. Writing helps me figure things out and clarify my thoughts. Yet during the times that I am the most upset, or frustrated, or confused I do the least amount of writing. I choose instead to stew in my thoughts. How does that even remotely make sense?
I used to be a tutor and whenever one of my kids would come in clearly upset about something, but they didn’t want to talk about, I would have them do a free write. I would tell them that for ten minutes they had to have their pen to the paper writing. I wouldn’t be reading it and I didn’t care if they started off by writing, “This is stupid, I have nothing to write about” over and over again. Because eventually they would get bored with that and they would wind up writing about whatever was bothering them. After the ten minutes was up, I would have them rip up the page, throw it away and then we’d work on homework. You know what, it worked every time. Without fail they would feel better.
Despite the fact that I watched this happen over and over again, do I do the same thing for myself? No! Why is it easier to take care of someone else, than it is to take care of our selves? Why don’t we follow the brilliant advice that we give to others? I am genuinely curious about this phenomenon. It’s like I can’t see the forest for the trees. Since it is my own problem, I’m too close to it to have any sort of perspective. So it’s not that I ignore the obvious solution, it’s that I can’t recognize that the solution is that simple. But it is. The solution is simple. It is now your job to tell me to go free write for ten minutes whenever I get surly!