Many years ago when I was just 9 or 10 years old I was swinging on a homemade tire swing in our backyard in Scarborough. It was a lovely spring day and I was enjoying my few minutes of solitude before my baby brother found me and wanted to play with me.
We were the typical siblings; love each other then wanted to be rid of the other (at least for a few minutes). I heard the rustling and immediately thought, “My quiet time is over”. I looked up and instead of my brother, my father came waltzing through the gate. My father is predominately a quiet man. My mother raised the children and when dad got involved you usually were in trouble for something.
My dad loved to garden. Our tomato plants were the best in the neighborhood. He started in the garden and then called me over. I went running! (You never keep my dad waiting). He asked if it would water the garden as he looked over the rest of the garden. Well of course I would!
After a few moments, my dad started talking about how when we are small we have small problems and as we get older we have big problems. I really didn’t understand, as far as I am concerned a problem is a problem! However I kept quiet and continued to listen. Dad told me that in every situation we have three options.
- Ignore it! – You may have to look at the situation and decide how much this affects you and is it really your place to be involved. Weigh out the need to make your voice heard over the idea of creating a more difficult situation. OR perhaps you really do need to get involved.
- Change it! – Speak to the people who are upsetting you and get their perspectives on why and how this came to be. Brainstorm and be honest about how this is affecting you. Let them know that you have some solutions ready to discuss and come prepared to talk about them. Allow all to speak and them narrow down the similar wants of all involved and build from there.
- Be Prepared to Walk Away! – This is the hardest. In some cases people cannot agree and the notion to agree to disagree can work on some situations however not in all. For instance a marriage with severe issues may not be repairable if both parties are not willing to find the common ground and build from it. Walking away from a new position because you find that this does not meet your moral or ethical needs is another example of making the choice to walk away.
Of course, my father put all these words wrapped around a candy bar scenario so my young mind could understand. He simplified it for me so that I knew at the end of the day I had the choice.
Now I am much older and I still think of the brilliant way my father has opened my mind to solving problems. I may not always like the choices I am presented however I do have the choice.
Anna Ottaviani is a Board Certified NLP Master Practitioner & Master Coach, Board Certified Master Hypnotherapist,Creating Your Future® , Time Line® Therapist Practitioner and Reiki Master. Her methods are unique and tailored to each individual client. She can be reached at www.sucessfullyyou.ca or by phone at 289-221-5772. You can follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/successfullyyou?ref=ts&fref=ts