“The Moment before Solution.- In science it occurs every day and every hour that a man, immediately before the solution, remains stuck, being convinced that his efforts have been entirely in vain- like one who, in untying a noose, hesitates at the moment when it is nearest to coming loose, because at that very moment it looks most like a knot”
-Frederick Nietzsche, Human All Too Human Part II, Pos 1313 kindle version
This is an excellent quote to help people put the issues they are struggling with in perspective. We often like to think of improvement in a linear fashion where problems become smaller and smaller until they finally disappear. This is usually not how it works though and the idea of being okay with remaining stuck can bolster resolve to keep going.
An important reason that many feel their efforts to improve are in vain is that they have brought into conscious awareness countless aspects of their lives that used to exist in obscurity or semi-darkness. One by one these aspects become exposed so that the situation looks more convoluted and complex than it did before.
This is an unfair trick the mind plays because raising conscious awareness is objectively a step forward even though it can feel like a step back. The noose appears most like a knot before it comes undone because so many important strands have to be uncovered. It’s important to understand that they were there all along though. The choice is between trying to untie them in utter darkness without really knowing what they are, or seeing the strands clearly in the light of day.
Almost everyone has experienced that ‘aha’ moment when things suddenly become clear. But revelation doesn’t come out of nowhere. A baby cannot spring out of the womb fully formed without having had time to develop first. When she is ready to be born there will be no stopping her but the process cannot be forced.
When things seem dark or when all the hard work combating life issues seems not to be yielding results remember all the thinkers and scientists who have found themselves in a similar position, feeling despair that the solution will never present itself. Then the light suddenly comes on and everything becomes illuminated.