When we are within a conflict or cannot foresee how a problem will be solved, we tend to focus on our feelings rather than simply the facts. Or the facts influence the feelings. Rarely, do we try to change the feelings.
To do so seems unnatural, even absurd.
To change our feelings, we must change our thoughts. For us, this not only seems out of whack to try but a little…out of our minds.
I had doubt on this myself. It seems somewhat deceptive. Don't people struggle with denial enough?
Well, we also find ourselves replaying certain thoughts and feelings, recreating and reaffirming a narrative of our lives. You have seen it with a best friend who may have lost value in themselves even though you can see it. You have seen it with someone who misses out on an opportunity and somehow cannot find resilience to get back up again.
The other day I watched a video about the resilience of a rain drop. How although it falls, it holds itself together. This was from the Quarks to Quasars facebook page. And what it caused me to reflect on was that remarkable simplicity of resilience: hold it together. It's how we hold it together that we struggle with.
So, here's a secret.
Focus on what you would feel if the problem is solved.
To show you that it works, I'll give you a personal examples. One day, I was down. I was down about a lost relationship, worrying about a creative pursuit and about a person in my life who is sick.
After I decided to focus on what I would feel if the problem was solved (rather than how I felt and perceived things currently), here is what happened:
I felt propelled to do something to reaffirm the reality of my feelings.
I wrote a letter to myself, as if from the person whom I was no longer in contact with, and wrote down what I wished they would say to me so as to gain true closure. You know what happened? After I signed it from them, I felt that closure.
I turned to Google and researched an expert in a professional field that dealt with my creative pursuit. I sent them an email. There, I did not have to have all the answers towards how to pursue it. I only needed to get a conversation starter.
A person in my life is sick and although I cannot solve the sickness, I can do my part. After focusing on what I would feel if the problem were solved, I did small acts of kindness for this person. And it was enough.
We reaffirm the reality of how we feel. We choose how we feel often based on the perception of our reality. But in one day, I learned and have continued to utilize a different angle: focus on what you would feel if the problem were solved…and you are more likely to experience an epiphany on how to solve it.
That's because sometimes the mind gets in the way. The replaying, the reaffirming what we see in our reality, the retelling of the same narrative…that we forget what power we have. Simply change the focus of your thoughts and use your imagination. Visualize, believe. Create the imaginary experience. How would I feel if this problem were solved?
Instead of seeking a solution to a problem, you acknowledge that it already exists and that you already may have the key to it. That in itself can mobilize you. It did for me.