head in the sand

what to do with problems

When I was growing up, one of my neighbors was a little boy named Brent. He was about three years old at the time.

I can still recall how Brent coped with feelings of overwhelm or situations deemed 'problematic' to his three year old self.

His strategy was deceptively simple yet brilliantly effective. It required only two things: the placement of his arms over his eyes and the repetition of the words, "If I can't see you, then you can't see me."

By employing this strategy, Brent experienced some illusory relief; effectively removing from sight and mind any perceived situation that caused him discomfort. 

Initially we laughed at his adorable attempts to shut us out of his world, but soon enough we intuitively recognized his need to disappear from our view for a time. And so, we left him be and carried on with the game we were playing or the conversation we were having...

within his presence,

but also

without his presence, if you know what I mean.

I mention this story because it seems to me that a version of this technique is quite often employed by many of us, on a daily basis, when attempting to avoid something we would rather not face:

Problems. Confrontations. Challenges. Missteps. Obstacles. Decisions. 

And while, yes...at times...

when left alone, such issues can resolve themselves of their own accord...

there ARE times

and

there ARE challenges

that,

when left alone,

can fester and grow

infiltrating into areas of our life that would otherwise have remained unaffected.

 

I once heard a speaker say, when referring to such challenges, 

"kill the monster when it's small...don't wait until it's full-size."

This notion does indeed have merit.

And yet...

How many of us pretend,

by sticking our metaphoric heads in the sand,

that there is NO

problem or confrontation or challenge or misstep or obstacle or decision to address?

How many of us

delay,

ignore,

dismiss,

discount

and

imagine away

our 'problems' only to discover that they have multiplied and splintered off into new and ever greater challenges in our 'absence'?

Many of us, I imagine.

Most of us, in truth.

Perhaps, as we approach the close of another year,

it is time to take stock...

it is time to

pull our arms away from our eyes

retrieve our heads from the sand

and

embrace what we must do:

tame the monsters.

Perhaps now is the time to

solve that problem,

face that confrontation

meet that challenge,

acknowledge that misstep,

tackle that obstacle,

make that decision.

And one more thing to ponder as you go about your business of taming...

"When is a monster not a monster? 
Oh, when you love it."
-Caitlyn Siehl