So the common quote is “Don’t just stand there, do something.” Which has a lot of merit. If you haven’t taken any steps to get what you want in life or something is chronic and you’ve been complaining about it for a long time, do something, anything, interpretive dance, for goodness sake, and things will change. If nothing else you and anyone seeing you will fall down laughing, especially if you’re doing it in the aisle at the grocery store trying to get the price of Nutella to come down. 🙂
But I digress. So there is also the opposite issue and I find myself saying this a lot, “Don’t just do something, stand there”. Now it’s not as easy as it looks. In fact, I’m the worst at actually doing it. I’m a ‘doer’. I want to take action to make something happen to make the situation better. I’m terrible at sitting back and trusting the process or allowing things to unfold. I’ve even been known to stamp my foot in frustration a time or two. But many times not doing something is much the better option.
There are many situations where doing something can make things immensely worse. In support groups where someone is finally speaking their truth about a situation, having an opinion can seem like criticism and sabotage the healing process. It’s better to just be a witness to their truth and support them in having spoken it. When working on a car, if you don’t fully understand the issue, tinkering with one thing can make something else infinitely worse and cause the engine head to blow or everything to freeze and what was a simple fix now becomes a complete engine rebuild or possibly an entire new car you can’t afford. When the boss/teacher/authority figure goes off, even if they are completely wrong, even if there is injustice happening, even if it makes your head explode, they won’t be able to hear you with all the emotion they are releasing and saying or doing anything will make you a target for something that didn’t need to happen. So stand there. More than likely, when emotions die down, there will be an opportunity for things to be improved.
Meanwhile, sitting back, trusting the process, doing what you are asked to do when that request comes, not just what you think you should in the moment because you want to ‘get something done’, is a skill that needs to be practiced. I’ve got alot of practicing to do so I’m going to go sit somewhere for a bit and watch the butterflies, who don’t need any help from me at all. 🙂