Raise your hand if you’ve been through a season of feeling stuck in some area of your life.
If we were together in a room full of people right now, you would look around and see every hand raised. And for the ones that aren’t raised, it’s quite possibly because they are stuck and don’t even know it. But other people can see it. Kind of like when you have food stuck in your teeth and people are too nice to say anything. As a side note, please don’t ever be that nice to me. I want to know. Sometimes the kind thing is to say the hard thing.
Sometimes it feels like less work to allow things to remain the same. It’s the easier, less overwhelming choice. Because the known and familiar, even when terrible, can feel safer than forging into the unknown.
So we keep avoiding. The someday syndrome. We sweep it under the rug. We develop selective amnesia and pretend the issue doesn’t exist. Maybe it will absolve or fix itself.
Or we medicate. We love distraction. We try to numb ourselves with one more trip to Target, one more coffee or an endless scroll on the timeline. We all have our go to.
All at the cost of other vitally important things, like our emotional health, our relationships, and living our best life.
And deep down, who doesn’t want all of those things? I don’t know anyone. Even when it seems otherwise. Sometimes our behavior betrays our deepest desires.
Sometimes stuck looks like a bad relationship that you don’t know how to fix. Or a series of poor relationship choices, of settling for way less than you deserve. Sometimes it looks like a job you loathe, but stay at too long. Sometimes it looks like knowing the good you ought to do, but not doing it. Sometimes it’s avoiding the difficult conversation because of how you perceive in your mind it will go. Sometimes it’s poor self care. Sometimes it’s fear of chasing your dream.
Sometimes….often times, stuck feels like not even knowing what you need. You just know something needs to change before you break.
The good news? The first step out of the dark is to admit you’re in it. The first step in getting unstuck is to first realize, I think I might be stuck here.
What I have learned in my own seasons of growth and stretching is that it can be painful. But it’s a good kind of pain. The healing and necessary kind. It feels like a snail’s pace of progress at times. Like you will never get to where you want to be. It’s hard to tune out the critical and condemning voices we hear in our own mind.
I was outside with my daughter a few days ago walking the perimeter of the play area at the park. Her hand in mine, around and around we walked slowly at her pace in one giant circle. She was perfectly content walking in that circle and I was patient because she was enjoying it.
That’s how seasons of being stuck can feel, like you’re on a hamster wheel and just spinning without going anywhere. I thought back to myself about prior stuck seasons in my life. How God was patient with me in my wandering. In the moments I’ve wished before that I could erase. I thought about areas where I’ve grown, areas where I still need to grow and how far I’ve come.
And as I walked that circle with my daughter, I looked back on the old me in a new way. Not with judgment or condemnation. But with compassion. With gentleness and grace. My only wish in that moment was that I had been kinder to myself back then.
Listen closely. You will never get to where you want to be unless you change the way you see yourself. Unless you learn to be kind to yourself in your thoughts.
You are where you find yourself today for a reason. And no one, not even you, the one who has lived your own story, has full comprehension of such complex matters. No need to receive the judgment others may make about you. The judgment seat is not theirs to sit on. No need to judge yourself either. It will only hold you back and keep you stuck longer than necessary.
I hope you will value yourself enough to figure it out. To take the next small step.
To get silent with yourself and ask the tough questions.
To pick up the phone.
Send the text.
Make the counseling appointment.
Fill out the application.
Visit the church.
End that relationship.
Go to bed an hour earlier.
Take a break from screen time.
Tell someone else the brilliant idea you have.
Take that one itty bitty step towards getting unstuck. The road can be a long one but begins with one courageous step.
You have what it takes and you are so worth it.