This video is for all of you problem solvers out there and it takes one to know one. I want to offer you a question to ask yourself the next time you feel compelled to help someone solve a problem or to solve your own problem.

I’m Stacy Rocklein and I’m on a mission to bring more love into people’s lives so they can receive love easily, love more fully, and it all begins with the ability to love ourselves.

So problem solving. It’s a great skill, right? It’s a total asset, but it can also be a strategy to avoid a very important thing and that is feeling your feelings. So let me tell you a little story. I made a commitment to myself when I realized that I was very guarded. I didn’t do vulnerability very well and I hadn’t been feeling my feelings for a very long time, so I made a commitment to myself that I was going to not only feel them, but I was going to share them because I was experiencing a lack of connections in my life.

That’s what happens for some of us when we spend our lives guarded. We spend our lives not being vulnerable, avoiding our feelings, then we’re not really deeply connecting with people. So I had made this commitment and I was at a moment where I was feeling lonely. I was just feeling alone even around a lot of people. So what I decided to do with that is to stretch myself.

I was telling a friend about this feeling and her response was to give me solutions. “Well, you know what you need to do? You just need to do this or you just need to do this or how about this?” And as I’m having this experience I realize, wow, I really haven’t spent my life feeling my feelings because I couldn’t even recall the last time I had felt this way. But I didn’t want my problem solved.

First of all, I didn’t see a problem. I just had a feeling and I wanted to experience it and I wanted to share it. And the other person went into problem solving mode probably because that’s how Stacy has always operated. If I’ve got a challenge, I go to problem-solving because this is what I used to tell myself. I used to say, what’s the point of feeling the emotions? Why do the emotions if we’re going to just have to go out and solve the problem anyway. Let’s get there.

I thought it was a more evolved solution, but what happened was my feelings weren’t going away. I was just building a thicker and a more sturdy wall to protect myself. I was using problem solving as a way to avoid emotions and when I was honest about it, it’s because I was afraid. Emotions scared me. It scared me to feel them.

It scared me for other people to feel them, which is why I had always gone into problem solving mode. Like, “Let’s get you out of here. Let’s get me out of here. Let’s avoid this.” But what happens when you build a big wall up is then you’re not connected to people. Then you’re not able to share. You’re not able to be vulnerable and you sometimes become disconnected from your feelings. I was emotionally immature because I didn’t know what I was feeling. Could I sit in it and feel like it was going to be okay?

So here’s what I want to suggest for you. If you’re a problem solver and especially if you recognize that you don’t do vulnerability well and you’re a little bit guarded, the next time you think problem ask yourself, is it problem or is it a feeling?

If it’s you or if it’s someone else because you’re gonna want to solve your own problems just as quickly as you’re going to want to solve other people’s problems, ask yourself, “Is this a problem or is this a feeling and do I have the courage to pause and let that feeling happen so that it can be released and I can move on from it? Do I have the courage to sit with someone else while they have their feeling, until their feeling is past?”

You’re going to get a chance to problem solve anyway. Because after we’re done with the feeling, then we’re ready to go. Come up with solutions and go take actions. That time will come and you’ll get to exercise those good problem solving muscles, but first can you stop and feel the feeling? Can you stop and allow the feeling? Because that is how we connect to ourselves, how we learn to accept ourselves and all of our scary emotions instead of trying to pretend they’re not there or reject them.

It’s how we connect with other people by saying, it’s okay. I can be here in this space with you. So I want to offer that up to you today and thank you so much for watching. Please share this message to someone you know who may love to problem solve also. Maybe they’ll be able to take something away from this. And it allows my message of love to reach a wider audience and I’m very much appreciative of that. So I’ll see you next time.

Hey, let’s connect! I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’d like to sign up for my weekly newsletter, The Love List, scroll to the bottom of the page.