Have you ever felt stuck?
At some point, most of us have felt stuck in life, love, finances or daily routines. You are not alone, feeling stuck happens to everyone at some point.
A while ago, I was in spin class, puffing my way thru one of the toughest rides I had ever done.
My legs muscles burning, I was panting like a dog, and frantically focusing on the clock.
It seemed that the hands were frozen… it was going to be 9:30 forever. I stared that thing down with laser focus, certain that it had stopped, and I was destined to endlessly spin on that bike.
The truth is the clock hadn’t stopped. My perception of time was off, skewed by my great desire to be done exerting myself.
Have you ever been in a season of your life, and it feels like you are at full speed, going nowhere? It seems like everyone else is moving forward, except you. Are you convinced that you are forgotten, shelved or misplaced?
One of the more challenging emotions in midlife is when we are feeling stuck. Inspiration is gone, enthusiasm is waning and daily life can feel like one giant sinkhole of repetition. Can you tell that I am totally speaking from experience? Yes, I have struggled with the “suck of stuck “in my life.
Let me suggest 3 ways to encourage you as work through feeling stuck:
- Acknowledge your frustration about the “rut”. Sometimes many of us just need permission to tell the truth. And so often when we speak truth, we make room for others to share their real struggles. Find your close friend, someone in your community of friendships and share the weight of your feelings. Be honest. Tell someone trustworthy that you feel stuck. Be open to their advice, opinion or observations. Your words matter, speak the truth in a safe place.
- Make healthy decisions in this season. Being stuck can cause damage in your life. Don’t let food, substances, spending or unhealthy people get a foothold in your life. Prepare your mind, body and spirit for the moment when you are free from the rut. Sometimes a rut is actually a season of preparation, designed to bring forth, build or ignite something in us. Determine to leave this “ stuck” season stronger, in every way.
- Connect with others who have walked before you. Mentors, advisers, spiritual directors, all these people are equipped to help you walk thru the “season of forgotten”. Look for a person who is at least 10-15 years older than you are, and then offer to take them out for coffee. Talk about your rut, asking for advice if you feel inspired to do so. Listen to them as they tell you about that season in their life, there will be lessons in their stories for you. Circumstances are different, but people struggle on the same emotional level. Set up a monthly/bimonthly coffee chat to share your heart and progress in the season.
We can’t avoid the rut. Feeling stuck will find us at some point in our lives. But we can defuse its destructive power by making healthy choices while we are in as season “feeling stuck”.
Remember, feelings do not last forever. When we encourage our bodies and mind, we can shorten the season of feeling stuck. If you find yourself continuing to struggle, please take the time to connect with a licensed therapist. Often in midlife, we are stuck in patterns of thinking that are learned from early childhood. A therapist can help you discover a new way of thinking.