Problems vs. Solutions: problems

About a year ago I had an amazing opportunity to attend an Abraham workshop in Dallas. The entire experience was wonderfully expansive. I heard so much wisdom that resonated to my core.

One wise gem from that day that has really stuck with me.

Here’s what I jotted in my notebook that day from Abraham in response to the woman in the hot seat:

“There’s no point in digging a great big deep hole and then helping someone out of it. Don’t dig a hole to begin with.”

Oh, did that resonate! Because I realized in that moment how often I had done just that with friends and family, even clients pre LoA. While well intentioned, I now understood this “hole digging” from a very different perspective.

Here’s what I mean:

  • When your friend calls and you commiserate with her for an hour as she tells you about the problems in her marriage, you are helping her dig a hole.
  • When you spend your entire lunchtime with a colleague listening to her complain about her boss, you are helping her dig a hole.
  • When your husband tells you all about the ongoing disagreement with his brother and how upset he is about it, you are helping him dig a hole.

It’s not problems you want to help people with. It’s solutions.

It’s not unwanted you want to help people with. It’s wanted. It’s not what’s wrong you want to help people with. It’s what’s right.

When you listen to someone talk about their problem, you are not actually helping them. Quite the opposite.

You are digging a hole with them. As they tell you about what they don’t like and don’t want, they are only increasing their belief in the what-is of their problem—and you are unwittingly helping them add to that momentum.

Now, I know that’s not what you intend.

You think you are helping by lending a sympathetic ear. By commiserating. By telling them you understand how they feel and asking questions that only add to the detail of the problem.

You think you are helping by joining in their outrage or their disappointment about the situation. You think you are helping by encouraging them to tell you the story of their problem, their complaint, their upset.

However, from a Law of Attraction perspective this is a flawed premise.

“It is really not a good idea to encourage your friends to complain about things to you. There is no value in assisting anyone to describe, in detail, their unhappy experiences.” —Abraham

When you talk with others about their problems, you are assisting them in describing their unhappy experiences. Abraham is very clear and doesn’t mince words: There is no value in doing this.

Think about why. When you encourage a friend to talk about her problem, you are helping her activate the unwanted end of the stick.

“Every subject is really two subjects, with what is wanted on one end of the stick, and the absence of what is wanted on the other end. Sometimes you are perfect vibrational match to the unwanted end of the stick but you don’t realize it because it feels normal to you. And that is only because it is more usual for you to talk about the problem rather than the solution.” —Abraham

When you participate with someone in talking about their problems, you are helping them activate the unwanted end of the stick.

You are helping them focus on the absence or lack of what is wanted.

It’s only through my obsession with all things Law of Attraction that I realize how “normal” it is for most of us to focus on problems.

We seem as people to just love talking about what’s wrong. Focusing on the problem. Paying attention to what we don’t have that we want. Concentrating on what’s wrong.

So many of the conversations we are having with others—be it friends, family, co-workers, neighbors—are focused on problems. You may be be doing the listening or you may be doing the talking, but either way, focusing on what is unwanted is digging a great big deep hole that is totally unnecessary and entirely counterproductive from a Law of Attraction perspective.

“You never help anyone by being a sounding board for their problems or complaints.” —Abraham

Problems and complaints are unwanted. So when you act as a sounding board for problems and complaints, you are playing a part in the energy of unwanted.

When you do this, you are not doing your friend a favor. And you are actually not doing yourself a favor either.

All of life is energy.

Even though you are responsible for your own vibration—and so you don’t necessarily have to lower your vibration just because your friend is focused on problems and complaints—in all likelihood you are compromising your vibration by joining in the energy of the problem.

  • Have you ever felt drained after being on the phone with a friend talking about her bad marriage?
  • Have you ever felt drained listening to a co-worker complain?

If you have felt drained, not only does that mean you helped them a big deep hole, but you also lowered your own vibration.

Your own marriage may be great and you may love your job. But if you feel drained after discussing their problems with someone, that’a a big sign you’ve lowered your own vibration. You’ve weakened your own point of attraction.

I want you to think about the energy of digging a hole with someone with the intention of then helping them dig out of it.

It’s wasted energy. Why not just skip digging the hole?

When someone isn’t where she wants to be—in other words, when she has a problem—the tendency is for that person to defend where they are.

They don’t want to be where they are. They don’t want to have the problem. But they spend most of their time making a case for why they have the problem, giving evidence of everything that’s wrong.

Abraham encourages us this way: Don’t help someone with their problem.

They’ve been thinking about their problem so much. Talking about their problem just creates a stronger belief in things as they are. The person doesn’t get a sense of their own power.

People want to defend where they are when they aren’t where they want to be. They want to convince you of their plight.

But a “problem” is really just someone having a Step 1 moment. There’s nothing wrong with where they are. There is no benefit to explaining or defending.

“If you are focused on problems, the Law of Attraction will bring problems to you faster than you can fix them. What you focus on expands.” —Abraham

In the past I’ve thought I was being a good friend by listening to someone describe, in detail, her unhappy experience. I thought being a willing listener and sounding board was the sign of a good friend.

As I look back on these conversations, I see something different. I see my role in digging the hole. And I see the very real downside of lowering my own point of attraction.

This is an invitation to consider what it means when you talk with others about their problems. And what it means when you choose to talk with others about your problems.

Talking about a problem is not the pathway to a solution.

“Complaining about anything keeps you in the place of refusing to receive the things you’ve been asking for.” —Abraham

  • If you give complaints with your energy, then what you will receive in return will match up to the energy of complaining.
  • If you give problems with your energy, then what you will receive in return will match up to to the energy of problems.

Even if you listen to someone’s problem with the intention of then helping them solve the problem—in other words, dig a hole with them with the intention to then help them dig out—why not just skip the hole digging part altogether?

The good thing is this: Whenever someone has a problem … they also have a huge solution in their Vortex.

The way to that solution is to focus on what is wanted, to appreciate, to release resistance, to be in the energy of the solution.

“Look forward to where you want to be and spend no time complaining about where you are.” —Abraham

Will you give it a try?

Next time someone comes to you with a problem or complaint, with a worry or grievance, would you assist them in the direction of the solution, in the direction of what is wanted? Will you help them focus on where they would rather be and why?

Because where they would rather be and why is heading in the direction of the solution. No hole digging necessary!

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