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Problem Solving Self Care

When Life Gives You Lemons

Experiencing problems is a daily affair for us all. The process of seeing a problem and assessing what we need to do to avoid or fix the problem isn’t always as easy as making lemonade. There are often pitfalls because we didn’t see it coming, we don’t know all the facts or what to do next and we don’t know how to change the outcome. This dilemma reminds me of a poem by Portia Nelson entitled Autobiography in Five Short Chapters:

Cradle to grave, life is a process of learning. We learn from both positive and negative experiences. Sometimes we fall down and skin our knees; those lessons can hurt.  Often, we learn from others’ mistakes or they give us a warning, “Hey, there is a hole in that sidewalk.” Maybe, we have already been in the hole and we can avoid that pitfall.  Perhaps someone else keeps us from falling into the hole by taking our hand and leading us to safety. Then there are those times when life just happens and the struggle continues. What can help us avoid life’s pitfalls?

  • Look before you leap.
  • Ask questions.
  • Give yourself reminders.
  • Use all of your resources.
  • Learn from the wisdom of others.

When you find yourself in a hole, don’t give up. You can say to yourself, “I didn’t see that coming but now I know” and get back up and try again.   Don’t stay in the proverbial hole in the sidewalk, make your way out of the situation. Be grateful for the life experiences and wisdom you have gained and let it guide you to a better path.  If you struggle with a problem, relationship, or situation, take stock of what you have learned, talk to a trusted friend, make the necessary changes even if they are painful, and practice gratitude for the teachers in your life. Find people who are walking on a different ‘sidewalk.’ Mostly remember, “Don’t give up!”