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It's not black and white.

It's not black and white.

So often, we want answers to the big questions. We want to know if something is right or wrong. We want to know where to place blame, as if it was easy to come to these conclusions, especially when we are dealing with people.

If we were all created exactly the same and thought exactly the same, perhaps we could find these answers easily. However, our Creator chose, in His own wisdom, to make us unique. It’s beautiful; it’s challenging. It also means that not everything is black and white. Not every question has a yes or no answer.

In my work, I often get asked for my opinion or advice on the big, complicated, hairy topics. I am not an advice giver. That is not what a therapist does. For a while, I thought that was my role, but it’s not. My role as a therapist is to help you learn about yourself and about others you interact with, to help you cope with the stress in your life, to give you tools to assist you in managing your emotions, and to work with you on the way you interact with other people. I’m sorry, but there is nothing black and white about that.

We all have people who come to us, asking our opinion, wanting our advice or insisting that we help them fix a situation. It makes us feel good when people seek us out and value what we have to say. However, I want to encourage you to avoid trying to fix issues, to avoid giving black and white answers. Our lives are not that simple, and our brains were not created to function in the same way. So instead of working to solve a problem for someone, try to be a mirror for them, try to reflect back what you are seeing and hearing from them.

Ask questions instead, like How are you feeling about that?  Or What do you think was meant by that action? Or How do you think you might be contributing to the problem? What are your solutions?

Let’s avoid trying to make everything right or wrong. Let’s avoid trying to fix issues. Let’s avoid the black and white. Instead, let’s push towards identifying what we can do to grow, how we can change our understanding of a situation or how we can open our eyes to another perspective.

We were created to be unique; let’s honor that uniqueness in each other.