Monday, August 1, 2011

Stuck in The Mud...

Recently I was talking to someone who is very dear to me, and she asked me a question. She shared that she had been “stuck” for many years and asked me, “Have you ever really felt stuck?” Initially my answer was yes. After I took some time to really think about her question, I realized that I had not ever experienced a time when I was so “stuck” that I felt paralyzed. I’ve never been in so deep over my head, that I didn’t even know how to take the first step to save my life. This is not to say that I won’t ever be stuck, because it can happen to any of us with out warning. Though I haven’t been there, and that is only by the grace of God, I’ve witnessed many of my loved ones being “stuck in the mud”, and have felt powerless against the forces that restrain them in that place.

I’ve seen drug abuse strip families apart. I’ve seen broken relationships strip self-worth to pieces; I’ve seen childhood baggage recycle the bondage of hopelessness and stagnancy. I’ve seen people stuck in dead end jobs/relationships because they don’t believe there is anything else. I’ve seen people stuck within their own prison of self doubt and drudgery. There are so many different scenarios that can leave people feeling stuck, and many times staying “stuck” is safer than making a move into the uncertain territory of change. We’ve all felt stuck at some point in our lives, but what is it that keeps people stuck in a place of depression or dysfunction year after year.

I really don’t know the answer to that question. One major factor I believe is FEAR! Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear that there actually isn’t something better. Fear that you are undeserving of happiness. Fear that a better place is nonexistent. Fear is paralyzing, and until we overcome our fears, whatever they may be, we will stay stuck in the limiting world we have created for ourselves. Sometimes all that is needed is a baby step. Sometimes that first step is acknowledging our role and responsibility for being “stuck”, and then forgiving ourselves for “everything”. The first step is probably the hardest, and many baby steps may precede it. The one thing that I have learned is that no one will take a first step or baby steps until they are ready, and more importantly you can’t take it for them. They must find the strength within to take it for themselves.

If you know someone who is stuck and you really want to help them, sometimes the best thing to do is have compassion and empathy, and squash any forms of judgment. Be patient with them and love them unconditionally. Sometimes we get frustrated with those we love, because we may see a path for them that they don’t see for themselves. The tricky thing about that is, we are not God, and we don’t know what is best for anyone else. Every person has to travel that road of discovery for themselves, but when they ask for a hand, you can always be ready to offer one or two. Until then, the best and only thing to do is to pray for God’s plan to be revealed. I know first hand that the power of prayer can move mountains!


  1. Fear is the largest component that blocks us from moving forward with the things we want to do or accomplish. It is only Faith that allows you to proceed and bypass the fear.

  2. Alicia, this was a GREAT blog entry that really resonated with me because I have been "stuck in the mud" and further I often counsel many who find themselves stuck as well. I so agree with you and "anonymous" that being in such a state, fear is a large component of this state of mind. While the fear is often nameless, faceless and even unreasonable, it nonetheless is a terror that can totally immobilize you. I've come to know that prayer and faith are the only paths to freedom, however oftentimes when people are "stuck" it is difficult for them to say a prayer or "grasp" a hold of faith because they are truly rendered immobile. This is why what you say in your last paragraph is so important. We are not God and we should be so careful not to judge. The operative word in being part of a loved one’s "support community" is "support". Of course when we see so much potential or a clearer path for the loved one, we may get frustrated, but we have to remember this is not about us and bear in mind it is” their” rode to travel. Criticizing and judging have generally proven to be ineffective tools to snap someone out of such a funk. The most effective thing we can do is to have a measure of compassion, pray for them and always be ready to offer (when asked) a hand or two as you so eloquently put it. Thank you so much for this entry.

  3. JSW...jersey girl03 September, 2011

    Alicia, thanks for this...I have some family and friends that I feel are "stuck in the Mud" and I need them to read this and maybe it can help them to get loose...(smile). I myself have been stuck before but like you said, not to the point where I was "in too deep" and don't know how to get out. Prayer is POWERFUL!!!! It is truly by the Grace of God that I have been able to recognize when I am stuck and with His to move out of there. Thanks again...Love reading your blogs