Why Solution Focused is Unhelpful
I sat with my arm around a young athlete. They were depressed and feeling not good enough, that feeling most of us have experienced at some moment in time. Not ___________ enough… just enter whatever word works for you.
What does that mean? What would you be if you were _____________enough?
How would you life be better if you were _______________enough?
I have written about this little antidote I read years ago and I no longer can tell you the source, but the seeker and the sage are in conversation.
“Dying is no solution.” says the sage.
“And living? asks the seeker.
“Who told you there was a solution? replies the sage.
What if there is no solution? What if being blank enough was not the solution because there is no solution?
In Canada in the coming days we will celebrate Truth and Reconciliation. Is it a solution to the horrors experienced by the indigenous populations? Many may say it is a start, but if you read any of the educational presentation provided as a part of educating about indigenous history, it is not a solution.
If everyone got vaccinated, would it be a solution to Covid? No. History tells us that in one hundred years, there would be another pandemic. History shows us the there will always be those who are anti-vaxers and they will allow the disease to begin it’s spread again.
If you made more money would all your problems be solved?
No, again, research studies have shown that people who win the lottery are right back to their same level of happiness within two years. Same goes for those who get out of jail.
What if it is the belief there is a problem, that is the problem?
To believe there is a problem means we look for solutions. We are unhappy where we are and we seek understanding, change, acknowledgement, something. We are seeking.
In 2015 when I became an empty nester, I sought a solution, something to fill the hole that I was left with. I upended my life in search of pleasure, meaning, purpose. I did not find it where I went looking. I did not cure my feelings of loss or emptiness. I merely felt stressed and unhappy, and drank too much, dated someone completely wrong for me.
Ironically it was when I had no idea how I would financially survive the situation and I let go of pushing for a fix that the fix started moving toward me. People came to study with me, a job pretty much feel into my lap. I am not sure that would have happened if I was so busy chasing something that I was ignoring the most important thing in front of me… faith that I was strong enough to navigate the challenge.
Perhaps that is the solution worth putting your stock in. Faith that you are strong enough, you are ____________ enough.
My mother always used to tell me, “God only gives you what you can handle.” I do not know if my mom and I believed in the same God. I believe God is within you. I believe the ability to navigate any difficulty is within you if you believe it is and that is what makes you enough of whatever you are. And it is what you are that is enough.
At least that is what I think on my good days, when the desire to be thinner isn’t winning. The desire to be validated is in charge. When the part of me who can watch what is unfolding and let go of the need to change it relaxes, I am enough.