The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
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?
Every year brings lessons and experiences that contribute to my growth and understanding. As 2018 draws to a close, I’m considering the events that happened this year and the lessons I have learned.
God sends us the people we need when we need them. I started attending a new church this year and immediately made awesome new friends who have enriched and blessed my life. I’ve taken time to connect with some old friends to strengthen and renew those relationships too. I’ve found that when I remain open and welcoming to new encounters, the people I need to meet find their way into my path.
Prayer has to be consistent and persistent. This year I completed the Let Prayer Change Your Life study by Becky Tirabassi. I learned that God wants me to talk with Him, and when I do, my relationship with Him grows.
I’m not perfect. This year I got two speeding tickets while driving through a particular neighborhood. I learned that though I try to be a generally good and law-abiding citizen, I am not immune to sin. I sometimes break the rules and need a penalty to remind me that I still screw up.
I’m not as smart as I think I am. This year I had an embarrassing experience that involved sending an email to the wrong address and then having to admit my mistake. I felt stupid, and I learned that sometimes I need the experience of public humility to remind me I’m not as extraordinary as I pretend to be.
Mindfulness increases discipline. For a few years I have struggled with food and weight issues, so this year I took positive steps to reverse my bad eating habits. I am learning that behaving mindfully helps me make the decisions I need to reach my goals.
It’s a long walk to the top. “Slow and steady wins the race,” I told my nephew as I held his hand and struggled to hike up the side of Crazy Horse Monument. “Did you ever read The Tortoise and the Hare?” All journeys take time, and I am continuing to learn that when we look upward and keep moving, we will eventually reach our destination.
Appreciate all you have. I have been blessed with a soft bed, a warm fire, people who love me, and a food bowl that’s filled regularly. I am always learning that when I am content and grateful, I feel richly rewarded.
Try something new. In October a friend invited me to an event in a neighborhood where I don’t usually travel. I was a little apprehensive about journeying into an unknown area, but the show was great and we had a good time. I learned that sometimes when we venture into unfamiliar territory, we discover that new experience is its own reward.
I am looking forward to the new experiences and discoveries that lie ahead in 2019. I am expecting many changes and new developments in the next year, and I’m excited about learning all the lessons that 2019 holds. I pray you enjoy a happy new year and many blessings in the year ahead.