Sometimes, it's simply not your problem to solve

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

"Solve the problem, leave the problem, but do not live with the problem"


I'm going to start with the serenity prayer.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.


If you've been around a 12 step program of any kind, you've heard this a thousand times. So much so that maybe it's lost all of it's meaning. Have you ever said a word repetitively that it simply doesn't mean anything anymore? Saying this prayer over and over can sometimes have us forget the meaning.


It took me years to actually start understanding this prayer and even still today, I forget. ESPECIALLY the last line.


The wisdom to know the difference. I run around trying to change everything, until I am beaten into submission of acceptance and exhausted all other options.


I am a problem solver. And I am good at it. But I forget that not all problems are mine to solve. For the most part, other people's problems are theirs to solve and when I make it mine to solve for them, even if I do actually solve that particular problem for them, I have done them a disservice.


Sometimes I simply can't solve problems that aren't mine to solve and when I solve other people's problems for them, I am taking away an opportunity for their own growth. They need to solve their problems on their own. It gives people confidence, strength, it teaches them how to solve problems, it gives them faith in themselves, and so many more positive things. YES, they may struggle, but it's their struggle to fight through.


Remember, if it's not your problem, then it's not your problem to solve. Leave the problem and allow them the opportunity to grow, you can support and cheer from the sidelines.


Living with a problem that is not yours to solve will make your own life and their life unmanageable.

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Jennifer Maneely

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