Problem Solving Basics
When faced with a crisis of our own making, we need to rely upon the judgement of others, and guidance and direction provided by God, and well meaning people and institutions. However, to fully rely upon external control is to loose control over one's own life, resulting in a feeling of futility, and uselessness.
Even if it works as a program of action, we can become dependent upon the program, rather than independent and vibrant with the challenges of life. We were given free-will to become more useful - to actually participate in creation and be useful to God. We are trusted so we can be helpful by working on the problems we were given to solve.
If we learn to trust ourselves and God, then by the power of divine intervention (though we may sometimes make mistakes) we will learn how to be more effective with others, and feel good about our ability to make careful decisions. We will become free of judgements, and confident in ourselves, and our ability to empower each other.
Problem solving cannot be done while emotionally distraught. Emotions jumble up our thinking causing us to do things we don't mean to do, and say things we don't mean to say, often aggravating the problem rather than contributing to a solution.
Even if emotions have stabilized, it is not possible to work on a problem by 'thinking' about it. There is too much information to process. In order to see things clearly, we need to write them down. We are much more careful to be accurate about the information as we write, and when we review what we have written, the relevant information can be separated from what may not be so relevant.
Paul Klerman, Circa 1998 Mental Health Options, Berkeley CA
Exactly what is the problem?
For Example: Though we may not be able to talk about it, we may realize that our relationship has become shallow - that we keep repeating the same meaningless behavior, and that some of the behavior is really harmful, like making up after a fight with fitful sex, knowing full well its only a matter of time before the fighting starts all over again.
This seems like a cycle of abuse. Please see: Cycle of Abuse
The idea is to state the problem clearly in one line. If we're angry, or fearful, we need to work on those troubling emotions before tackling problem solving. Here are some forms that will help resolve those toxic emotions: