When You Don’t Know What to Do, Just Be


Answers to matters of the heart are found in stillness.

How doing perpetuates unhealthy relationship patterns


It wasn’t until I was 40 years old that I understood Albert Einstein’s quote, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” Up until then, I kept attracting relationships that only went so far. Since I didn’t clearly see how I was contributing to the demise of my love life, I wasn’t able to break the long cycle of being in on again/off again relationships, 3-month relationships and being with men who weren’t right for me. I unknowingly created and perpetuated these unhealthy relationship patterns.

When I tried to improve my love life at the level where I had created and perpetuated my unhealthy relationship patterns, I “did” rather than “be”. Doing things like focusing on my external appearance, hiding my self-perceived bad side, not letting him know how I really felt because I didn’t know how he felt, etc., tricked me into thinking that I was being productive. Even after all of that doing, love was still elusive.

My doing came from a place of seeking approval, acceptance and love – all which are externally focused. While my intention in doing was to move closer to love, it had the opposite effect. I ended up feeling separated from love, not realizing that trying to think my way out of my problem kept me from getting in touch with my being.

For best results, the doing comes from the being

Getting into a doing mode to solve problems keeps you locked into your mind, where thinking resides. When you try to think your way out of a difficult problem or a problem you’ve never experienced, you don’t know what to do, become more confused, stressed, make a decision you regret, etc. This having to do mode takes you out of being in stillness, where the answers are found.

Doing from a place of stillness (being internally focused) yields better results. When you don’t know what to do or if you continue to repeat unhealthy relationship patterns, give your mind a break from your unhealthy thoughts that run on auto pilot. Don’t jump into doing; instead, just be. Stillness helps free your mind from the continuous thoughts that cause a great deal of pain and your impulse to have to do something.

Stillness helps relax your mind. The clouds dissipate, clearing and opening up your mind to different ways of seeing things and possibilities you didn’t initially think of. From here, you can solve your problem with a different mind that created the original problem. You’ll feel more certain and able to handle your difficult situation with ease.

Just Be

If you find it difficult to relax and just be, here are some suggestions.


  • Try meditation. Meditation helps ease your overactive mind. The more you practice meditation, the more answers you’ll find within the stillness. 
  • Practice breathing. Take deep breaths.  Inhale and exhale deliberately, deeply and slowly.
  • Spend time in nature. Go to the beach, the mountains or the desert. Take a walk in a park. Visit a botanical garden. Go hiking.
  • Nurture yourself by lighting a candle and breathing in and feeling the wonderful scent. Wrap a soft blanket around yourself. Get a massage. Write in your journal.
  • Enjoy your own company. Relax for an entire day or longer. Don’t be compelled to fill up your time with busy work. Shut off your cell phone. Turn off your computer.

The next time you have a challenging situation with love, instead of stressing your mind to come up with a solution, relax. Practice the suggestions and wait for stillness to come. Within stillness, lie your answers.  

What are your thoughts about solving problems that have to do with matters of the heart?

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.