When No Easy Solution Exists

Sometimes there is no easy answer.

I’d like to tell you otherwise, that if we just shut our eyes and hold our breath long enough that all the dissonant and uncomfortable sensations and situations in our lives will dissipate, that the cloudy particles will dissolve like a passing fog into sunshine.

But I can’t do that.

Because the truth is that we will all, at some point or another, be standing still and forlorn as we look ahead. Because we won’t see an easy path. We won’t see something shaded and comfortable, something that makes us feel full and warm, safe and content.

Instead we’ll look ahead and see fractured paths, all battered and ugly, none of which we’d like to traverse.

You know what I mean, right?

A situation that has no good outcome, no nice way of untangling, no easy way out. A toxic relationship, stifling job, uncomfortable living situation, incompatible partnership. No matter how well we plan, how cautious we approach our decisions, how much we try to protect ourselves, it happens. Life has a funny way of presenting us with a myriad of challenges, as if to continually push our patience and reserve, to build our resiliency, to show us that we’re more than we thought we could be.

This sounds wonderful in theory, that persistent input to grow stronger and better than before. But it comes with discomfort and indecision, the kind that takes hold and doesn’t let go until we claw our way out. Most of us try to ignore it, feel paralyzed by confusion, naively wait for rescue that will likely never come.

But we can’t stay still. We can’t continue to bear the weight of discontent.

Make no mistake about it. Ignoring a problem or refusing to act does us no good. We can rationalize and say that if we do take action, someone will suffer. A relationship broken, a job quit, a housing situation abandoned, a partnership dissolved. These don’t exist in vacuums and we know it.

So we can justify inaction. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We don’t want to offend our boss. We don’t want to lose a friendship. We don’t want to create discord among friends. We don’t want to be talked about, shit on, harassed, critiqued. We don’t want the consequences of pushing against that wall of inaction.

We just want everything to iron itself out, the problems to disappear.

But they won’t. Waiting and doing nothing just prolongs the misery. It just continues to etch away at our self-confidence, health, and happiness. Think about all the hours wasted worrying, fearful, contemplating a bad situation. Think about everything else you could have done with that energy.

So we must move. We must choose one path forward. We must take one step ahead even if our feet sink in the sticky, dirty mud of that decision.

Because the only way to solve a problem is to get through it, to tackle it, to unwind ourselves from it, to choose a different way of being.

I ask you today – what situation is plaguing you right now?

Have you reached the point where you are ready to take action?

If so, look ahead and choose the path that gets you closest to where you want to go. Ignore the sharp branches that will likely cut into you as you move through it.

Just do it. Take those first steps. Have faith that what lays on the other side is better than where you are now.

At the very least, you know that those steps are yours, that instead of sinking in place, continuing to suffer in an untenable situation, you are moving forward, taking the reins, choosing to make this life your own.


In a sticky situation? I hear you. I have often found myself in these as well and the relief you’ll feel when you take action beats the misery you feel now. If you want support or just someone to talk to, I’m here for you. Reach out anytime and we can arrange a time to talk.

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