Do you ever have a problem that just won't go away?
Maybe it's the weight you always want to lose, maybe it's the way you always have the same fights with your partner, maybe it's that thing you always want to do but never have.
Whatever it is you struggle with it.
You try so many different things, but you just can't seem to shake it, to get it right, to make it go away.
Trust me, I've had these types of things in my life and they've been enough to drive me cazy!
There were times when I honestly just thought "Well, that's the way life is! There is nothing I can do about it!"
And then I had a EUREKA moment!
That moment when the bulb just went on!
It was the moment that I realized I actually wanted these problems!
In fact, if I was being totally honest, I really didn't want to get rid of these problems at all!
Now don't think I can't hear you!
I know, right now you are saying "Whatever! That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of! Of course I want to get rid of these problems, Meg, you are INSANE!"
But stay with me friend, this might just be something you need to hear!
I realized I wanted these problems because they were SAFE PROBLEMS!
They were problems I knew how to deal with, bothersome and painful, but at the same time comfortable. (Even though some of them kept me up more then a few nights in tears)
And as long as I kept these safe problems, I had a excuse not to move forward.
See, a safe problem is something that can seem like an impossible things to solve and can linger around forever, taking up as much or as little time and energy as we let it.
They are things we can talk about over and over again, and, if we ever do solve them, it's only temporary.
A great example of this is trying to lose weight.
How many of us have been trying to lose 5, 10, 15 or more pounds forever?
But no matter how often we try, the weight just never comes off?
Or if for some reason, we manage to budge the number on the weigh scale lower, it's only for a short time before that number pops right back up again!
Is it honestly because we somehow haven't cracked the code to losing weight? With all of the different eating plans out there, and exercise programs available, is it possible that we still don't know how to lose weight? Or could our weight be a safe problem?
Something that protects us from having to deal with a bigger issue?
(we'll go deeper into this in just a minute, I know you can't wait! lol!)
Another problem that is often pops up as a safe problem is in our relationships.
Do you have someone you are constantly bickering with?
You're always at war, and you can never figure out how to just get along with them, and it goes on for years and years and years.
Sometimes it's very hard to look at this because it's happening with the ones we say we love the most, with our families, our husbands, and our kiddos!
The thing with safe problems is that they always allow us to stay the same.
Even if we try a few different things, we quickly go back to our normal selves, saying, "Well, that didn't work!"
And very soon we don't spend any time looking for or working on solutions, instead we just justify and excuse our behaviour and the situation.
Soon, we stop taking any risk, making ourselves powerless in the situation, and convincing ourselves that there is no solution!
In this way safe problems never require us to really face up to our fears, and depending on the problem, they can make us feel important or get us a lot of attention!
Now you may be saying to me "Meg, you are way out of line, you know know about my problems!"
I know how you feel, so let me ask you this...
If your very best friend had this type of problem, would you tell her she's powerless?
Would you tell her she has tried everything and she should just give up?
Just get used to it?
Would you tell her that she's just always going to be overweight?
Of that she's just never going to get along with her partner?
You wouldn't would you?
But you tell yourself this kind of stuff all the time!
Safe problems are so abundant in most of our lives because they protect us from something we assume is going to be much more scary.
And that my dear friend, brings us to QUALITY PROBLEMS!
If we really start to deal with why we can't lose the weight, we're going to realize it's got very little to do with diet and exercise, and much more to do with the story we tell ourselves about being overweight or about being thinner.
We all have hidden stories that start to bubble up when we tackle real quality problems.
Stories like, if I take care of myself I'm going to attract attention, and I'm s scared to being in a relationship!
Stories like, I want to avoid sex and that's easier if I'm overweight.
Stories like, 'Skinny' girls are mean girls and I don't want to be a mean girl.
Does any of this sound like you?
I know some of them sound like me!
If we really start to deal with why we are constantly fighting with our families we may have to acknowledge and deal with the fact that maybe, we've grown apart.
That we've been hurt in the past and haven't taken the time to build the trust again.
That we are scared if we let them be themselves that they don't love us.
That we are so concerned with our own reputation that we try to control them so they won't make us look bad.
Are these fears buried somewhere in you?
I know they are in me!
You see, quality problems are core issues that you hide behind safe problems.
Quality problems require us to take massive action, to put ourselves out there, to be brave, and to be vulnerable in order to change our circumstances.
Solving quality problems often have a significant impact on our identity, on our circumstances, on our quality of life.
It will cause you to grow, to expand, and to become more.
It will require you to move to a new area, do a career change, commit to a relationship, leave a relationship, start a family, start a business and on and on!
No wonder they feel so risky to deal with!
No wonder it's so much easier to bury them under a blanket of safe problems.
But wrestling with quality problems is the path to reaching your highest good, to living a truly rewarding life!
So how do you know if you're dealing with a safe problem?
Well, safe problems are often the ones that, although you are very serious and sincere about solving, have been around a long time.
Safe problems are often communication problems, procrastination, blaming others, addictions, avoiding making decisions, time management issues, or having "problem people" in our lives.
They are the ones that, when you talk to someone about them and they offer you a solution you tend to say "Yes but..." or say "I've tried everything already!'
Arguing and fighting to keep your problem!
One of the most common safe problems is something that has happened in our past.
We can use it as a blanket to cover everything we don't want to deal with because the past can never be "fixed", so it's there for us whenever we need it!
As you look at the areas ask yourself:
Are any of these problems you have have helping you avoid dealing with a more profound issue?
If this problem went away in this area, what would you have to face? What would be available to you?
What stories do you tell yourself about this problem that makes it easy for you to not take responsibility?
See if you can find the quality problem hiding underneath you safe problems!
When you do and when you begin to work on quality problems you will find the things that fall under safe problems will often disappear!
This is the hard work of waking up!
This is the time you have to dig in deep and ask yourself some hard questions!
And it may be hard, but is is so possible and so worth it!