The other day I was talking with a friend and he mentioned his psychiatrist told him he should become “friends with his problems.” To answer your question, yes, all my friends are in some sort of counseling. After all, where do you think I meet people? It’s my problems that put me in counseling in the first place.
It really got me thinking about how hilarious the whole concept is. Who wants to befriend a problem? I certainly don’t. I’d rather solve the problem and move on to enjoying the highlights of this life. My highpoints are far and few between, but it is because I spend a lot of time at home, alone, sitting on the couch, staring into space. I like it there. Problems have a hard time finding me there; apparently they don’t have my garage code or a key to my front door.
It’s when I leave the house that the pandemonium begins. Here are a few things I deal with on a weekly basis. I don’t get a front row parking spot at the grocery store, so now I have to walk. Everyone and their mom, has decided to stop in front of my giant grocery cart when I’m making a mad dash toward the meat section in Costco. My coupon for Kohl’s expired one day before I decided to buy new underwear. My internet connection keeps going out and my Netflix show is buffering for 20 minutes every seven minutes. The sales guy at the car wash convinces me to replace my windshield only he puts a cheap one on and now I have more cracks than I started with. Who knew rain was so strong?
I don’t want to be friends with these so-called “problems.” Technically, these items could be qualified under “hassles,” but since I don’t have any children, and my dog and roommate are relatively well behaved, my problems aren’t as serious. You’re probably thinking, “Gee, I wish I had her ‘problems’.” I would answer with “yes, you probably do.” Although, I don’t really think you mean it because that would mean you have both your problems AND mine. My problems are fleeting; I don’t have time to make friends with them. And here I was thinking I’d invite them over for tea. Instead, I go back to my cozy couch where staring into space is the one thing I look forward to each day.
This isn’t to say I haven’t dealt with my fair share of problems. How do you think I became the upstanding human being I am today? These mass amounts of maturity did not come from tiny problems, but big ones. I suppose I did befriend my bigger problems growing up and asked myself, “How can I learn from this?” No, wait, that’s a lie. I asked “Why is this happening to me?!” I may have screamed it with my hands held in the air as I kneeled on my bedroom floor. There may have been tears and a little bit of hair pulling, but then my mom would leave the room and it would be silent again. Apparently, she had problems too and sometimes I was one of them. She has since learned wine and chocolate can help solve the stress a strong-willed child can bring. She’s a lot happier now.
I guess when it comes to my real problems; I usually hide or ignore them. If my options are fight or flight, I’ll pick the latter. I’ve never been a good fighter. I was in elementary school when a neighbor boy began cussing on my property. I told him I was gonna punch him if he did it again. Well, he did it again. I swung, not even forming my hand into a fist and I hit him right in the elbow. Turns out, the elbow is rather sensitive; so he ran away crying anyway, that was the moment I realized I wasn’t meant to be a fighter.
I decided running away was right up my alley. I’m sure a handful of you would agree and more then likely you take that approach as well. Occasionally, you have a problem you can’t flee. I hate those. I immediately ask God to just teach me what he wants me to learn, because I can’t stand the torture. At that point, it’s been about two hours and the suffering is intense. Sometimes, He likes to play “God” and wait till the last minute to show me what I’m supposed to be learning. Other times, he will jump in and take care of the issue right away. I know without the suffering my bigger problems bring, I’ll never grow and mature into the person He has created me to be. If you think about it that way, problems can be good things. So I guess in a way, I’ve learned to become friends with my problems after all.
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