"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes."
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Snow fell again this week. The wind drove drifts across the driveway and formed sheets of ice across the patio. For weeks I have felt frozen in place, waiting for a gentle thawing to release me to move again. While I wait, I have considered how often feeling stuck takes over our experiences, and I have been exploring the strategies that help us escape the clutches of stuckness.
This video for a TED talk by Dr. Lani Nelson Zlupko describes a few ways we can get out of a stuck state of being and back on the road again.
Turn. Instead of focusing on the problem that keeps you in place, turn to look in the direction of your goal. Name what you want and focus on that instead of the circumstances that are holding you back.
Learn. View bumps in the road as opportunities to learn, and recognize that even large bumps can be overcome and lead to future growth.
Persist. Keep trying until you achieve your goal. With each step along the path, you will grow closer to being the person you were meant to be.
This winter I will be working to focus on the spring sun and leave the bitter cold behind. I pray your road leads you to a bright new season of growth.
How do you get out of a stuck situation? How do you turn to focus on the path that lies ahead?
Every New Year celebration means I’ve grown another year older and wiser. Here are a few thoughts I wish I could share with my younger self.
Everything is going to be okay. No situation lasts forever, and many problems resolve themselves in time. Life does get better.
You deserve good things. No one deserves bad treatment, and you don’t have to tolerate abuse. Believe you should receive better and expect more from your life.
Trust your gut. When you feel uncomfortable or uneasy about a person or a situation, God is telling you to be careful. Listen to your spirit and know God is speaking to your heart.
When it’s time to go, move on. Too often we waste time clinging to roles or relationships that no longer serve our spirits or contribute to our growth. When you feel you’ve outgrown a station or a season, God may be prompting you to make a change and begin a new path.
Everyone has their own problems. In our current culture, we often see only the surface of others’ lives, and everyone seems to be having more fun than we are. The truth is that everyone has experienced pain, and everyone needs compassion and understanding for whatever they are going through.
Never “go along to get along.” Too many of us were taught to compromise our hearts and sacrifice our values in order to make others happy. If you are grimly tolerating a situation you know is wrong, either work to change it or accept it is not the right place for you.
Good relationships are built. The best relationships, friendships, and marriages don’t just happen. They require investments of commitment, work, time, and effort to make them successful.
Each person is responsible for his or her choices. We can’t blame others for our mistakes or bad behavior. We choose our actions and the people we want to become.
Reconsider your spending. All the material possessions we buy can’t really bring happiness. All the clothes, shoes, jewelry, and books we purchase eventually became outgrown or outdated and get thrown away. Think carefully about how you spend your resources.
Invest in experience. The real reward of life is meaningful time shared with people who care. Don’t waste your time and money on things or people that don’t bring joy and value to your life. Focus on the positive and share your experience with people who strengthen and encourage you.
This New Year, I’m looking forward to a time of phenomenal productivity and change. I’m continuing to learn every day, and I’m excited about the lessons that wait in the days ahead.
What advice would you give a younger you? What are you looking forward to learning in 2019?
Each year at this time I contemplate the meaning of Christmas. In the midst of shopping, spending, wrapping, and socializing; I pause to consider the true significance of the season.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men! (Luke 2:13-14)
All the meaning of Christmas is expressed in those two lines. At Christmas we are to praise God and be grateful for the many gifts He has given us. We are to enjoy a time of peace and share our joy with others. At Christmas we remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus and give thanks for the blessings He brings.
This Christmas I pray you enjoy a peaceful and glorious holiday season. Please know that God is with you through every season of the year.
How do you celebrate a peaceful Christmas? What gives the most meaning to your holiday?