A person wouldn't try using a broken cup. I know that is stating the obvious, but we do this every day in a different way. I am just using imagery and something we do everyday (drink from a cup/mug). Why wouldn't we want to drink from a broken cup? Because we can't. There wouldn't be anyting left in the cup because its broken and all the liquid would spill out.
Now take that same picture and imagine you are trying to pour wine into the broken cup. You are wasting your wine, time, and energy in something that is a waste.
We do this every day. We try and use our energy into changing people, circumstances, other organizations that we are incapable of influencing at all. Attempting to change things/people that we have no influence over can create an incredible amount of stress in our lives.
How can we become aware of when we are doing this? Making a list of current stressors is a start. Make two collumns: inside of your control and outside of your control. Are you able to influence your own kids? Yes. Are you able to influence other people's kdis? Not really.
I'll give you a real life example: Our dog Charlie is adopted and after having him over six years it FINALLY occured to me that no matter what time we took him out at night, he would have an accident and pee on our rug.
This became so stressful for me because I didn't want to have to keep cleaning up pee-especially on the rug. I finally decided that he needed to sleep with a pee pad in a large open kenel while we slept. This was 100% in my circle of influence.
On the other hand, there is a dog next door that is not a safe dog for me, Charlie, or may kids. This particular dog is outside of my influence. I have no control over this dog. I can only try and protect our family.
As you seperate your problems and stressors into the two categories, you can now try and accept the problems are what they are in the column of outside of your influence and shift ALL of your energies into the problems and stressors that you do have a say in.
This is the beginning of using all your energies in a productive time?
And what if you don't know what to do? There is wisdom in a few counselors and we often already have the answers we are looking for. We are truly amazing creations.