I read the phrase unresolved issues a while back. It is an interesting concept to ponder. We hear it a lot in our world. I’ve noticed that it tends to be used as a negative observation…
S/He has issues!
S/He has unresolved issues about…
(Insert pertinent life experience here.)
What is your issue?!
That’s your unresolved issue, not mine!
I think that the initial reaction of anyone who is being accused of having unresolved issues is to take offense. After all, it is not a phrase that is typically offered as a compliment, is it? In reality, I think the best way to soften the insult is to recognize it’s just a statement of fact. How in the world could any of us live to a mature age and not have unresolved issues?
If you have lived, you have been hurt. Tragedies are a fact of life. This world is an imperfect, often unkind place. We all have to come to grips with past experiences that were less than positive. Some of those experiences remain with us and are ever evolving throughout our lives. Of course they are unresolved!
I gained much insight during the years that my family faced what seemed to be a never ending string of challenges. My experiences led me to become a speech-language pathologist, and I am able to bring what I learned during those years to therapy to benefit my clients and patients. I will tell you straight out that our issues are not and will never be completely resolved. They just manifest differently over time.
In the end I can proudly say that I am not crippled by the past. It is finished and beyond my power to change. The future is not promised. Why obsess about things that may never occur? I take no insult from accusations of unresolved issues. I simply accept that they exist. They are part of the story of my life and afford me opportunities to continue learning, growing, and using what they’ve taught me to help others in the present.
Cynthia Williams Bowen, MS, CCC-SLP owns Bowen Speech-Language Therapy, LLC in Clearwater, FL. Cyndee provides quality, creative, collaborative treatment to adults and adolescents with communication, swallowing, Parkinson’s, and related disorders.