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What’s Your Problem? Find the Root of the Problem and Dig it Out

What’s Your Problem?  Finding the Root of the Problem and Digging it Out

When was the last time you were really bothered by something?  Maybe you felt extremely angry, in complete shock, saddened, or just irritated at a series of unfortunate events.  It’s easy to see superficially, what caused your problem.  You might say it was your spouse’s fault, or because of one of your children, or even the state of the world we live in.  But, it’s not quite as easy to see deep down what really caused your emotional outburst.  Why did you get so annoyed about that spilled glass of milk or the package that was lost in the mail?  Today, we are going to roll back the covers and take a look at what’s under the sheets.  We’re going to look for the root cause and the importance of digging it out.

rootPixabay.com/ vivi14216

My Personal Outbursts

I wouldn’t be in a position to talk about this topic if I hadn’t lived through it myself.  While I started out life rather shy, I was never one to hide my feelings.  If I were mad about something, everybody in the room would know it.  I’m not proud of this behavior, but it was how I lived for many years.

What bothered me most was feeling left of something intentionally.  You know three of my friends would get together and intentionally leave me out.  Dividing for sports teams was another touchy area for me.  Who was going to pick the shortest, non-athletic, overweight girl?

And my all-time favorite, being stood up.  I can’t say that I was ever stood up for an actual date, but I was forgotten about numerous times for routine things.  Someone would say they would give me a call, stop by, offer help, go somewhere with me and they wouldn’t follow through.  Sometimes it might be a last-minute cancellation for something better.  Other times it might be a no-show.  Either way the pain I experienced became anger and resulted in bad behavior on my part.

Ignoring the Problem

What would you expect any irate person to do?  Blame someone else of course.  I’d think to myself, look what so and so did to me.  I might go a step further and plot revenge if I was mad enough.  Or I might feel so rejected that a sense of depression would set it.

Regardless of my response, I was ignoring the real problem.  I was allowing someone’s behavior to control my feelings.  And I wasn’t taking ownership of my own poor action.  Mature, healthy behavior does not include revenge plots, spiraling into a depressive state, or shattering glass with an anger outburst.  It involves being willing to dig deep inside yourself, find the real problem, and deal with it!

Start Digging, Heading for the Root

Did you ever get in trouble for digging somewhere you shouldn’t have?  My two dogs do all the time.  I’m not sure what precious riches they expect to find under the soil.  Or if it’s just something fun to do.  But we have had holes in our yard that were large enough to store things.

While there certainly are times when you need to obey the “Keep Out” signs, when it comes to extreme emotions and inappropriate outbursts, you have permission to dig.  It’s not hard to start but the first thing you need to do is accept that it is ok.  The second thing is that you have to pick up the shovel.  Your shovel can come in many shapes and sizes.  You shovel can be a counselor, a friend, or a spiritual advisor.  But it can also be an author, a songwriter, a video producer, or meditative thought.

Keep Moving Toward the Root

This is the part where many well-intentioned folks fall off the track.  It takes a bit of nerve to crack the surface knowing a problem lies beneath the soil.  But, it takes determination and perseverance to continue.  Unfortunately, many people are not up for the challenge.  So, instead of continuing to dig deeper in search of roots, they cover the hole back up and put away their shovel.

Using a medical example, the only way to remove a bullet is to dig into where it is and get it.  Yes, it will cause pain along the way.  And it is likely to take a while to heal completely afterwards too.  But, what is the alternative, living with a bullet inside of you that can cause damage at any time?  When you think about it, not digging in and dealing with the problem may be even more dangerous and painful than tackling the issue.

Count on Progress in Digging out the Root

Some experiences in life leave us with more scars than others.  Someone who has had their personal safety violated or threatened may have difficulty with trusting anyone enough to let them help.  But even someone whose issue may appear minor can have deep wounds.  Our personality, talents, coping mechanisms, and faith also play big factors in how we handle adversity and healing.

I already told you it would not be easy.  But I can also tell you reap what you sow in life and if you make the effort to work on a problem, progress will happen.  Everyone’s personal healing happens in a different way and in a different amount of time.  So, it doesn’t help to compare yourself with someone else.  Instead, stay focused on the progress you are making and keeping the effort going.  If it gets too tough at some point in the process, take a break but don’t give up.

The Ugly Alternatives

Congratulations if you made it this far in the post.  That means you are serious about growing into a better version of yourself.  Those who need the following information may never read it.  So, I’m going to share it with those of you who are reading, in case you need a little extra motivation or find yourself in a conversation about this subject.

If you refuse to dig, refuse to suffer any pain for a greater purpose, and refuse to deal with problems that are surfacing, you will either stay the way you are or get worse.  Like serious infections, problems that are not dealt with rarely get better on their own.  Infections continue to grow.  They can even grow to the point where you entire bloodstream is infected (septicemia) and you may no longer be able to sustain life.

In summary, I urge you to view digging inside yourself a worthwhile effort.  Locating the root of a problem takes time and hard work.  But the rewards are totally worth it.  Imagine being able to control those anger outbursts, or never have them occur in the first place.  Think about letting rejection and disappointment roll off you like beads of sweat.  What is you were not bothered by being left off an invitation list or excluded from something that might have been fun.  Instead, you will learn to make your own fun, and enjoying life to the fullest each and every day.  It is possible, if you’re willing to dig and keep on digging.

Reflection Questions

  1.  What sets off emotional turmoil in you?
  2.  Is it time to start a digging expedition in order to find the root of the problem?
  3.  Do you have a counselor, trusted friend, or someone who can support you through this process?

If there is any way I can help you head in the right direction, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  You can use the contact form on my website or email me directly at terri@drterriwenner.com.

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