Debra Jay has a line in her book that spears my heart: “We remain loyal to actions that have long failed to produce positive results. Even in the midst of a feast of new information, we refuse to change.” p. 54-55 No More Letting Go
Keeping this in mind, I want to offer up a thought for your consideration. We want to repair broken relationships, right? We want to heal old wounds. We want connection with family and friends. Granted, the number each of us want to connect with varies based on our personalities – but no one thrives in isolation.
So when we remain loyal to solutions that only cause more problems, we contribute to the breaking of relationships BUT our very soul wants connection. What do we do? We find ways to connect, even if those ways are destructive, unproductive, or problematical.
Once when our son Scott was a toddler, I had a dumb parenting moment. I took him to the grocery store immediately after a morning at Vacation Bible School. Scott had no energy for a “quick trip” to the store. But Scott was very young, and lacked the vocabulary that he uses with all of us now to teach us when his energy is GONE. He balked at getting in the shopping cart. He tried to climb out as I squeezed his chubby legs into the seat. He whined and tried to distract me from my task. Scott NEVER did stuff like this. He was my laid back kid. This did not give me pause, as it should have because I was stuck on the solution: I am in CONTROL.
Finally, hurrying as I was, I reached the end of my list and headed for the cashier. A sticky yellow substance oozing from the cart caught my attention – which is EXACTLY what Scott intended. Scott, determined to connect and express his needs, had stealthily begun taking one egg at a time out of the egg container and dropping them on the floor. Can I just tell you how hard it is to tell your friend the store manager, “David, we have a spill on aisle 4, 5, 7, 9 and in the frozen food section?” This was embarrassing but an example of how hard we work to communicate and connect.
If we aren’t making progress in problem solving, the volume of the voices in the family escalates. The family clown will become more outlandishly prankstery. The hero of the family will make greater efforts at heroic behavior. The lost child gets smaller. The codependent gets, well, you know, how we get.
Far better that we keep seeking workable solutions to our life problems. What problems or issues do you have that you are teaching you that a change is in order? What solutions are you too committed to? What resources are you ignoring at your own peril?