Un-Stuck {We Have Permission to Change}

by Andrea Kolber


The dark sky is swirling above and clouds are forming. Like the weather, I feel gloomy and my soul feels stuck; the sense nothing I do will create movement or change. I wonder whether I will address this issue or that one? Do I put my energy here, here or here? My vision feels blurry and frankly I just want to nap.

Stuck-ness can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not equipped to change it. 

I sigh deeply and I feel disappointment lay heavy like a wet blanket, surrounding me, but not with comfort. And one more time I think, "it’s still not happening."

I wonder if you’ve been there?

Maybe you didn't get recognized or you've had another argument with your spouse. Maybe a person you depend on let you down deeply. 

Maybe it’s a church situation that causes you to question faith. It might even be the exhaustion that comes from parenting small people EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

Any of those events can trigger the feeling.

But each of those moments places us at a crossroads. Does this current reality define me or is there a deeper truth to lean into? How do we honor our current pain while also creating momentum to move forward?

And when I say momentum, I mean the curious thing which makes you feel motivated and strangely capable.

I remember, in what seems another lifetime, feeling it on the basketball court. It’s the energy that comes with a steal and a made shot; the look teammates share when they see each other's determination. It’s like someone put fire in your step and precision in your movement and it's palpable. 

That’s momentum.

I’ve felt it in everyday life too. Several good breaks paired with a wise decision-- maybe a job you were aiming for and the house you wanted worked out. It could even look like people in your tribe standing confidently by your side. What an interesting phenomenon momentum creates.

When we break down these two opposites (stuck vs. momentum), it can be easy to dismiss them to luck, or blessing. And truthfully, I do believe there is always an element of blessing each of us experiences in any positive situation. God is gracious to us in that way.

But we have some choice too.

I love the Serenity Prayer as a resource, as it touches on the choices we face:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

In the murky places of stuck-ness the Serenity prayer reminds us God is our source and giver of peace for things we cannot change. And, He is the highest resource of courage for things we can. Finally, it's a reminder that we must bring good judgement as we navigate the difference. 

I find much of our stuck-ness is born from missing these principles. We have bought into the lie that we're unable to change anything OR everything is ours to change. Both are oppressive. 

Like shackles holding us down, trying to control what's not ours causes us to feel powerless. And denying the grief from that reality adds more chains. 

When we accept reality, we can begin to embrace the possibility we have power to make good choices and this, dear reader, is where momentum is born:

Doing the next right thing.

Even the smallest, seemingly inconsequential, action can be the next right thing. And when we put our energy into those decisions, they add up.

Like a player who lays her heart on the court building momentum with her team, we have that opportunity too. We may not reap rewards immediately, but we may just become un-stuck. May we remember and own the permission each of us has to change. 


Post adapted and edited from archives.