Figuring It Out and Living Bored

I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who just want to “figure it out” and they think this will bring resolution. Whether it’s analyzing their relationship with parents, understanding why they might have made the choices they did, or recognizing the issues an ex had which made the relationship impossible, it’s all an attempt to bring an explanation and thus hopefully, peace.

You would think as a counselor my focus would be similar. I definitely do some exploration into the why of things, but it’s not to attempt to find peace in resolution or information because I don’t think it’s found there. I look at the past to understand why you are in your current situation—the perspective, choices, influences and hurts that have come together to create your own perfect storm. When you decide to try to analyze yourself to death, you don’t end up with revelation—you end up with frustration.

My good friend Mike Wells used to say that focusing on yourself is boring. Have you found that to be true? I sure have! The more I focus on myself, whether in a positive or negative way, the more I get depressed, anxious and confused. The results are often compounding the spiral by obsessing even more.

So, practically, how does this turning your eyes upon Jesus rather than focusing on self look? Well, say you are thinking through the mistakes you made at work today and beating up on yourself for it. As soon as you realize what you are doing (usually the red flag for this is a feeling for me—a really bad feeling!) then you turn back to Jesus and thank Him for being enough for you today and for not being disappointed because of those mistakes. You thank Him that He will be enough for you tomorrow also and you don’t have to worry about going back to work. Or if you are obsessing on a relationship that has gone wrong, you thank God for the forgiveness He’s provided for you and the other party. And you let go of the obsessing (because you aren’t doing anything good with that) and turn back to Him.

Recognizing that you aren’t achieving anything through this “figuring it out” or over-analysis helps to see that there isn’t a point in continuing it. Instead, come back as a branch on the Vine, allowing Christ’s Life to flow into you just as the Vine’s life flows in to the branch and creates fruit. You aren’t going to fix your flesh by obsessing. You can, however, turn to a different source and realize that your flesh doesn’t get to define you. The Life of Jesus does. That is a much better definition. And the Way to peace even in the midst of hard circumstances.

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