Feeling stuck? Like your life is going in circles, to a place called nowhere? No amount of songs, podcasts or sermons seem to help you get over the feeling of being stuck?
Have you ever felt like the rug has been pulled from under you and you have completely lost your footing?
You just did not see this coming! You were totally blindsided by this loss, this issue, this challenge, this situation, this letdown….
You have come completely undone!
In this place of feeling “stuck”…..there is no movement, you feel stagnant. The night blends into the day and you feel like nothing has changed. You try to make sense of it, but there are more questions than answers coming. There seems to be no resolve, just this messy unfolding of your life. No one visits you here. It’s lonely and isolated. It’s a place of discomfort and you wonder if you will ever see progress and forward movement.
Let me ask you a question.
Have you ever watched a movie where they fast forward the main events of a key character’s life? You get to see the character from the beginning and watch the change that may have, in reality, taken place over several years, in a matter of seconds. You find yourself drawn into their experiences, moments of struggle, and the challenges they face, until that glorious, heroic scene where they conquer that physical, internal, or life struggle.
It’s the best part of the movie, right? Seeing and identifying with the journey and watching them grow and triumph over adversity is inspiring!
My favorite movies are the tear-jerkers, I mean the ones that really impact me to my core! Movies like Braveheart. Where characters face insurmountable odds but persevere and overcome every challenge they face! More inspiring and touching is the character development that usually occurs along the way. For, that is the greater victory!
What about the story of Joseph and his long wait to fulfill God’s plan? Sometimes we hardly process the fact that He waited 13 years to walk out God’s promise. Thirteen years of pain, betrayal, being overlooked, feeling forgotten, experiencing hardship, struggling to make sense of it, the loneliness, and the wait, the waiting year after year. We don’t think about the timespan that much because we read through the story so quickly and don’t realize that Joseph doesn’t get to the palace until many chapters later (Genesis, Chapter 37-40). It was the latter part of his life, the last chapter of Genesis that Joseph understood the purpose for his pain, therefore He was able to confidently declare Genesis 50: 20 to his brothers without resentment, “You meant to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.
What if I told you that you are not stuck, you are just in the middle of your story.
The place where you learn and grow the most from within. It can sometimes be hard to see the progress and the change because there are little to no physical changes in your circumstances, but rest assured, your story is not over! If you, like your favorite triumphant fictional character, would persevere, keep going, keep trying, keep living, and keep pushing, you will one day realize that the victory was worth the struggle, the pain, and the hardship.
So if you are reading this and can admit you’re stuck, here is one piece of advice to help you:
GUARD your thoughts! For your thoughts affect your emotions and feelings, which affect your actions and attitude.
Here are 4 keys to guarding your thoughts
1. Don’t let your pass steal from your present. Don’t live in the past; and by past, I mean yesterday, last week, last month, last year, all the way to back to your childhood. Yesterday is still the past, and if you are living in regret of your past mistakes and setbacks, that’s definitely going to affect your mental state. Don’t be stuck on yesterday. #liveinthemoment #letitgo
2. Comparison. I can’t say enough about this one. Everyone struggles with comparison, but it does not have to get the best of you.
Comparison steals the best of who you are and undermines the best in others. Comparison is a thief that will steal your joy, peace, and contentment. It’s doesn’t give, it only takes leaving no winners in the process. It makes you feel inadequate or arrogant.
Make every effort to embrace your space, your place, your path, your journey, your life, your kids, your career, and your spouse because right behind comparison are the ugly twins: jealousy and envy. They poison the heart and cloud the mind. In a world where you can upgrade everything, be satisfied and content with what you have.
3. Count your blessings. Don’t underestimate the power of being thankful and grateful for what you do have. This is a great way to avoid the comparison trap. Seriously, count your blessings, literally. When you are feeling “stuck”, it’s easy to point out all the things that are not going right. It’s easy to echo negativity. Your pessimistic side does not need help with the questions of “why me”, “it didn’t happen to so and so”, “their life is picture perfect”, “what’s wrong with me” and we could keep going and going. However, when you are in this negative state of mind, counting each blessing is the perfect antidote. The simple things in life that we take for granted or think we deserve like food, clothes, shelter, health, job/career, spouse, a vehicle, family, body free from pain, healthy kids, warm bed to sleep in and close friendships are all things to be thankful for. When you start to list the things you are thankful for, your mind shifts and so will your attitude because you realize, there is so much to be thankful for than to complain about.
4. Be kind to yourself. I beat myself up a lot, especially in my head. I need to be kind to me. I need to be gracious to myself. I need to build myself up rather than tearing myself down. I need to forgive myself when I make mistakes. I need to encourage myself when I have setbacks. I need to take care of myself, mentally (keep a positive, clear mental state), emotionally ( pep talks), and physically (stretch my body, exercise, groom myself, love my body). I need to love on me.