My daughter was very upset.
For the sake of this post, it doesn’t really matter why she was so upset. She just was. I tried everything I could think of to solve the problem. As I mentioned above. Nothing worked. Nothing even scratched the surface.
She decided to go up to her room. So that she could be by herself.
But I can’t concentrate, relax or focus when my daughter is upset!
I was finally able to convince her to come downstairs and sit next to me.
At this point I was still trying to figure out how I could solve the problem. How I could logically fix this situation. I am the adult and I am an educator with many years of experience handling situations just like this one.
Kids often come to my office upset and/or angry. I sit them down and we work through everything until the problem is solved or at least I feel as if I have given them a strategy that can help them better handle the problem the next time it occurs.
But my own daughter?
I couldn’t figure this out. And it was a lazy Saturday afternoon. And all I wanted was peace and quiet and everyone to be happy.
I finished my bagel and second cup of coffee. And…
We decided to play the board game Trouble that she had just gotten for her birthday. Just she and I. Playing several rounds of a game that relies on luck more than skill.
We laughed. We smiled. We joked. We had fun.
The world was good again.
What was the problem earlier?
We don’t have to solve them all. I have heard that men always feel as if they have to solve every problem that is presented them. I don’t know if this is true or not. I know I am guilty of this.
But that day. That morning. Several years ago. My daughter was upset and I couldn’t figure out how to solve the problem.
It took me several hours later to realize something so simple and yet so profound.
Every problem that presents itself to us does not have to be solved.
Where did it go?
What does it matter?
It didn’t linger and it left no residue.
It just went away.
Because it could.
Because it wasn’t that big a deal to begin with.
Because it didn’t have to be solved.
It just needed time and space and freedom to evaporate.
I must remember this the next time I am presented with a problem that I can’t figure out how to solve. That might not need to be solved.
I must remember that sometimes problems just go away. If we let them. And that’s okay.
Because maybe they weren't meant to be solved in the first place.
Maybe they were was just passing through.
And we must learn to let them.
*On a recent episode of My Bad Nathan Lang discusses how he used to feel as of he had to have all of the answers. I can definitely relate to this as is evident by the incident described above. Click the link below to hear Nathan's interview.