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Outgrow Problems

Carl Jung said, “Our most important problems cannot be solved; they must be outgrown.” In the sense that maturity makes problem solving much more successful, I agree that in order to solve many of our problems we have to grow up first.

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When it comes to many of our important issues increased maturity would go a long way in either resolving issues or learning to live in harmony in spite of differences. We first have to be able to accept responsibility for our own thoughts, words and actions and become aware of how we are contributing to the problem. We then need to be able to listen to our partner and be willing to put ourselves in his/her shoes. We need to be able to hang on to ourselves in the midst of strong emotions, control our temper and sooth our own hurt feelings. All of this requires growing up rather than simply growing older.

Maturity says, lets figure this out together so that it works for both of us. Immaturity says, my way is the right way and you had better agree or else. Maturity says, we disagree and that is okay, I can respect your opinions and hope you can respect mine. Immaturity says, I’m right and you are wrong and you should see things the way I do.

Maturity asks how can we fix the problem? Immaturity asks who is to blame? Maturity says, I appreciate hearing how you are feeling and hearing what would work better for you, thanks for the feedback. Immaturity, says how dare you criticize me when you are just as bad.

When you consider the immature and mature approach to problem solving, it is obvious that the mature approach is much more likely to lead to solutions or resolution. Interestingly, the resolution of our most important problems begins as an inside job. As we grow and mature within ourselves we will find our problems easier to deal with. We will have outgrown our problems.