Exchanging Stuckness for Freedom and Joy

Men and women of every type deal with the trials of life that create stuckness whether physical, medical, financial or emotional. Everyone approaches positive solutions in different ways depending on their Personality-Temperament. However, encouragement and direction come from many sources as we all work together helping one another tackle life as two Bloggers share.

“I really appreciated the writer who expressed forgiveness. She put into words something I have been doing for a long time. Forgiving and moving on. I liked her example of it being a “scar” instead of a festering wound. If you want peace in your heart and mind and happiness within yourself, you must forgive. Accept it for what it is and move on. Otherwise you let that person steal your joy.

“I see stuckness all the time in clients, friends, and of course, myself. Shame seems to be a frequent thing holding people back. It really does not make sense-we are ashamed of the past, but cannot let it go to have a different future. I think there is some sense of recapitulation and a hope at undoing rather than a letting go, learning, and an embracing of growth. We seem to have trouble seeing when a pattern is no longer effective, or we  should have matured. I like thinking of rebirth from Jesus; ties into forgiveness, I think. Wipe the slate clean and we can be unstuck!”

Reading Frederick Buechner’s Quote of the Day recently excerpted from his book Whistling in the Dark, reminded me how ‘stuckness’ is often accompanied by anxiety. He begins “HAVE NO ANXIETY about anything, Paul writes to the Philippians. In one sense it is like telling a woman with a bad head cold not to sniffle and sneeze so much or a lame man to stop dragging his feet. Or maybe it is more like telling a wino to lay off the booze or a compulsive gambler to stay away from the track.”

He states that All life is suffering--meaning that sorrow, loss, death await us all and everybody we love. Again, Paul wrote “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” He was stuck (my word,) in jail and he had every reason to be anxious about everything.

Buechner acknowledges that awful things happen to everyone in time. Paul doesn’t consider everything that happens as God’s judgment or the best that God can do for people. He just urges people to stay in touch with the Lord throughout the trials and sadnesses.

When you feel “maybe overwhelmed”, list all the responsibilities that have crushed in upon you. Then, consider one problem at a time. This has worked with many clients especially one lady who filled an entire page with what she thought were unsolvable problems. As she prioritized them and put question marks on the ones that could wait, her list shrank to about half.

A simple remedy for diluting anxiety is understanding that our souls are wired to find peace in God. ”Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances” as I Thess 5:16-18 (NIV) instructs. Pray as often as you check your phone. Every time, take a few seconds to offer a prayer for yourself or for another. Another path for discovering new peace, joy and purpose. Without purpose we wither.

Gradually, we learn how to avoid or extricate ourselves from subtle physical and emotional stuckness and any underlying anxieties in the same way as we provide our mental and emotional needs with positive reading, listening and watching material.

Meditating each day quiets our souls and opens our minds to spiritual understanding and direction. What Isaiah 61:1-7 urges us to do--apply the oil of joy rather than grief and put on the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair--actually becomes our stable bookends. Peace, confidence, joy and security follow.

An INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Structured) friend teaching abroad coming to terms with her special God-design wrote: “I'm increasingly aware of the gifts of love that I have, God's love and my family, and I'm very grateful. I'm trying to trust and would like my mind to be made new. I'd appreciate your prayers.”

Psalm 16:11 says: “You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (NIV). And my favorite: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy, and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:13 (NIV) I guarantee that joy will spill over your everyday concerns.

Please feel free to leave your comments or e-mail me if you’d rather.