You know the feeling. That feeling that in that moment, you’re stuck. There’s nowhere to go. You feel boxed in, and you can’t step forward, backward, left, or right. It feels like time is frozen, and you wonder how in the world you got in this place.
Friends, it’s only a moment.
In those times when it feels that we’re paralyzed by circumstances, the marvelous march of time has this uncanny ability to shake us loose. If we allow it.
The thing about a moment, though, is that we have to see it for what it really is.
Think about your first broken heart. At the time, emotions were riding high, and you were certain life as you knew it was over.
Or consider that first apartment, when your crazy-loud neighbors were making you crazy, and you longed for a home to call your own. But you weren’t sure you would ever qualify for a home loan.
What about that time you were trying to figure out your next career move and your uncertainty was so great, you weren’t sure which direction to turn?
Or that horrible, no good, awful, terrible day that never seemed to end.
Here’s the truth—you have a 100% survival rate for all of that and more.
That’s not to say that certain moments won’t change us. The loss of a loved one; the acceptance to a certain college; a promotion or demotion; the no when you were expecting yes—all of those moments have the potential to derail us or redirect us.
But it’s up to us whether we let those moments define us.
If it’s a good thing, worthy of adding to your personal definition of who you are—by all means, embrace it. But if it’s not, consider the following:
- Don’t dwell on the negative. The more you think about negative experiences, the more magnified they become. It’s harder to let go when you continue to dwell.
- Look for some glimmer of hope or goodness. Just as there is always something to be thankful for, every situation has some kind of takeaway. Recognize the lesson to be learned, the one positive from the experience, and move on.
- Find a distraction to get you through this moment and into the next. Exercise, call a friend, work on a puzzle, re-paint the living room—whatever it takes to get your mind going in a different direction.
- Play uplifting music. Trying to get past a negative moment is not the time to play depressing or angry music. Let your mind be filled with music that inspires, uplifts, or just refuses to let you sit still.
- Pray your way through it. Let your mind give it to God and wait for His timing.
- If your circumstances are based on your choices, forgive yourself. It’s a critical step in healing and moving on.
- Do something nice for someone who cannot repay you. They will be thankful, and you will feel better. Whether you volunteer for the afternoon or buy the lunch of someone in line behind you… just do a random act of kindness.
Finally—if you’re truly stuck and can’t get out, seek professional help. There’s no shame in needing help if you’re stuck in a moment and need a little guidance to navigate your way through it.
But keep telling yourself—it’s a moment. A new one is just around the corner.