When I am stuck with a decision, in a bad habit, or staring at a blank page, the most frightening thought is that there is no getting beyond this point. Terror shoots through my veins at the thought that we are stuck eternally, lacking any ability to change. And it is true that we are often not powerful enough to will our way through a situation. However, the anxiety over our apparent lack of movement or direction is deceptive. We are not stuck for good. Change and all its uncomfortable transitions will soon sweep down upon us and this roadblock will seem nothing but a distant memory. It is hard to say what is more frightening change or the lack of it.
This week, I would have thrown in my lot with the latter because this week I felt stuck when I was writing. It was not a lack of motivation. My brain seemed to be blocked by some undefined impediment. The edges of my mind could not hang on to a clarity of direction and as a result, I could not think of a single thing to type. So I sat.
Sitting still is a challenge for me and often I find myself paralyzed in a web of repetitive thought when I try to embrace stillness for more than a few minutes. So, I talked to myself (which is a common occurrence when I write). I reminded myself that, “This too shall pass.” My assurances, that I could and would get past this blockade, were enough to push my brain through the fog and I continued on, to my own utter amazement.
Similarly, I was talking with a dear friend this week and she reminded me of a misunderstanding that had occurred between us years ago. I had almost forgotten it. She said that it stuck in her mind because as we sat there, locked in silence she realized that she could not, for all her willpower, change what she was feeling. And she knew what she was feeling was disproportionate to the situation. I asked her what she did, because I did not remember and I often find myself in a similar situation with emotions swelling to the breaking point. She said that she prayed and was utterly amazed that moments later we were able to move beyond our argument with clarity and grace.
These small victories bring me the greatest joy. I look for every occasion to celebrate them.
What amazes you?
What do you love to celebrate?
What do you do when you are stuck?