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  • Matt M.

Stop Trying to Fix It



We often try to fix our problems. Why that is I’m not sure. Is it an inherent human trait acquired through evolution? The need to fix what’s broken so we can move ahead… the need to improve things.


I don’t know why, but it’s there. What I do know is that this need to “fix” things can become problematic when we turn it on ourselves. When we feel the need to fix ourselves. Not even to fix ourselves, but to fix our feelings or our thoughts. The need to do something with them.

“I have this uncomfortable thought or feeling… I don’t like it… therefore I should do something with it. I need to get out of this place that is so uncomfortable… what do I do?!!!”


Personally I have a very inquisitive mind… I like to know things. I like to get to the bottom of things. I see every detail. Part of the reason I suffered so much in the past is I turned this inquisitiveness onto myself. Analyzed every part of myself… went places in my mind I didn’t need to go.


That led to some uncomfortable beliefs, which led to some uncomfortable thoughts, which led to some uncomfortable feelings.


Then I was left with these feelings… but what do I do with them. I feel anxious and uncomfortable… how do I fix it?


The problem with trying to “fix” something is that first of all, you created the problem in your mind to begin with. You developed a belief which made you feel a certain way (see The Belief Comes First for more about this). Then you try to fix the feeling, which just exacerbates it. You can’t fix a problem that you yourself created. You can understand the problem, and by doing so it can cease to exist (more on this later).


I’d like to point out here that I believe that this is the case with supplements and medications. You are taking these pills in reference to your wound, and therefore validating its existing. With a lot of us these pills come into our lives daily. Just another reason I don’t believe in taking any such things.


Ok so to clarify, let’s say you hold the belief “I’m not good enough”. This thought comes up in your head throughout the day and you hate it. You tell yourself that you ARE good enough, and it helps a bit, but it doesn’t quite stick.


The fact that you are telling yourself anything means you are doing it in reference to the “wound” as we’ll call it… say the negative belief, or the bad feeling. Therefore you are always working in reference to something that doesn’t need to be there, and in doing so are reinforcing its existence.


In the case of “I’m not good enough”, the solution is not to tell yourself that you are good enough, it is to understand what makes you believe that about yourself in the first place. What makes that a question in your mind in the first place. True healing / enlightening moments can occur when these things cease to exist in your mind… or simply when we understand the choice is generating them. The question “am I good enough?” stops appearing on your radar.


So back to fixing. Let’s say you are in this uncomfortable place. You have intense anxiety or depression and you want to get out of there NOW. You want to run away. So what do you do?


As paradoxical as it seems, there is nothing to do. By saying this I don’t mean that you begrudgingly accept how you’re feeling. There is a difference between doing nothing and hating where you are, and doing nothing and just being with yourself.


I understand the desire to want to run away from these things (by running away I mean in your mind, not literally). I understand the discomfort. But running away and trying to “fix” what is happening inside of you often just makes things worse.


Next time you have a troubling thought or feeling just be with it. By be with it I mean you don’t do anything with it or to it. Don’t try to figure it out, don’t try to make it go away, don’t run away from it, don’t pretend it doesn’t exist.


You don’t even label it as good or bad. It just is. It’s something that you tell yourself that exists within yourself. That’s all it is. It is not THE truth (although perhaps it feels like that to you). So you be with that. The only thing I can suggest doing is to be with the thoughts and feeling with love and understanding.


I hesitate to say doing because it’s not really an effort… you don’t TRY to be with it with love, you just do.


“I’m not good enough”. Ok… imagine your 5 year old self thinking that. How would you treat them? Be with that little boy or girl (or your current self). Comfort them. Be loving with them and give them a hug. It’s ok to think these things, it’s ok to believe them.


Now the tricky part… and I can’t emphasize this enough… is that you don’t do this in an attempt to make the thoughts or feelings go away. That’s just another form of fixing. If you’re attempting to make it go away, the act of “trying” makes it stay around. I don’t know how to fully explain this… it’s just a truth of being human. It’s a difficult concept to fully grasp, maybe partly because the intellectual mind is not involved in just being, and we can often over-intellectualize and get stuck in our minds.


So you be with yourself with love and understanding. And some of those thoughts and feelings are still there, and that’s ok.


You can even be a little bit inquisitive. What makes me say that about myself? But do so through a lens of understanding, not of fear, and not of “fixing”.


What I have found in doing this with myself is that it does indeed help you to move past some of these issues. By not trying to fix these things or make them go away you stop throwing fuel on that fire. Not only that, but the issues become clearer because you’re not involved in mucking around with them. You come closer to where they exist in your heart and in your mind.


This may actually be an issue for some people because they are scared of going there, which is where the “running away” comes in. But going closer to the root of these things is where the healing lies. It’s often our childhood selves who are in pain and need love or understanding. They / we are scared. Just being there for them / us can be very soothing.


Now as always one last caveat. It’s always easier to “do” something like this when you understand it. When you don’t know where exactly your thoughts and feelings are coming from it’s a little more troubling / distressing. Not that it’s not possible, it’s just doesn’t fall into place as easily.


When you truly understand at the very deepest level where these things are coming from in yourself, then it can really just be effortless. As I wrote above, when you understand then the issue can cease to exist all together, and all you’re left with is the loving and understanding that I described.


Check out my other article on Holistic Counseling here to learn more about understanding yourself.


Good day,


Matt

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