It’s possible, you know, to get stuck in a moment. To get stuck in a feeling. Reliving the words someone has spoken to you or about it. Reliving the experience you’ve just had. Constantly re-imagining how it may have gone differently, worked towards a different outcome.
It’s possible to just get stuck by running a thought to it’s final destination and not knowing where to go next. Or to forget to change the tape in your head that labels you ‘failure’, ‘loser’, ‘not good enough’, ‘unloved’ … or conversely, ‘hero’, ‘person everything relies on’, ‘fix-it man’.
Stuckness has a lot of layers. At first it can seem like you’re trapped, closed in, prohibited from moving. But the truth is, you’re not entirely prohibited from moving, you’re just unable to move in certain ways. Or, stuck in certain patterns of moving that you can’t change without some external force or intervention.
Internal self-talk is one of these moments. Whether the tapes playing in your head are on just one theme or 12 different ones on repeat, often you can’t change the tapes without further input and help.
Same with rebound relationships and holding a grudge. You know it’s not a good idea, that it can’t get you closer to the end goal. But like a soccer ball covered in glue, these emotional habits can be so sticky that once you make contact again, you can’t let it go.
Then there is stuckness that is good. It’s the kind of stuckness you get to when you’ve been waiting for a while. It’s the kind of stuckness that slowly enables you to open your eyes and see what’s really around you. Spend enough time being stuck and soon, pathways and possibilities for becoming unstuck might appear where they weren’t obvious before. Being stuck gives you time to really observe your surroundings.
Being stuck is a great time to acknowledge how you got to where you are.
Sometimes, when heartbreak comes along, our natural tendency is to find someone to soothe the wound, to heal the break, to make us feel loved again.. but in these times, it can be better to be stuck for a while and get to know ourselves again.
Being stuck is actually, more often than not, a good thing. It’s an opportunity to call on those we trust and rely on to intervene in our situation.
A little unsticking strategy will always require a little effort and patience.
Not unlike writers’ block, a little waiting time is sometimes necessary for the right ideas and new opportunities to shake themselves loose. In the same way the gate and fencepost swell with summer heat and moisture, requiring effort and patience to open. Long walks in sunlit valleys lie beyond that fencepost, but not without time and work.
The trouble is, being stuck can feel like going nowhere, but a lot of the time, being stuck is just the break your sub-conscious needed to figure out what’s next and how to navigate it.
It’s like taking the precious seeds we carry, our hopes and dreams and then burying them down in earth, waiting and hoping for it to come back to life. It’ll take 6 weeks before that seed takes on a life of it’s own above the surface of the soil. It might even take longer. But Stuckness says, embrace the darkness and damp of the soil. Learn to be patient in the absence of light. Learn (and trust) that your time is coming.
That seed will likely sprout and look nothing like the seed’s skin it shed to become a plant, vegetable or flower. But it was never stuck. It was just the unseen growth that happens when it feels like you’re standing still.