STUCK IN THE THE RUT OR SETTLING INTO THE MUD

Has your car or vehicle ever been stuck in a rut? What is the first thing you do? You ponder on how you got in the rut. Then, you attempt to get the vehicle out. To free the vehicle, you will yak, pull, tug, twist or turn, or apply any other technique that comes to your mind to free the car.

Apply the stuck in the rut analog with life. The causes why you got stuck in the mud, may be negligence, stubbornness, hardheadedness, pride, disobedience or merely an accident. Your immediate inclination is to get out the rut as soon as possible, and to apply any methods necessary to free yourself. You may need to do some pulling, tugging and turning to get out of your situation.

Settling into the mud is different. Some individuals got stuck in the mud and applied minimal methods to free themselves? In spite of wise counsel, instructions and guidance, they devised their own plans, which caused them to sink deeper into the mud. They tried, but it did not work, they abandoned the concept of deliverance, and settled. They have become complacent and have adapted to everyone else who is in the mud. And, wonder why they don’t feel free.

There are plenty of people who are settling into the mud with relationships, jobs, finances and behaviors, but they are not meditating on devices to be liberated. Why? It’s much easier to complain and do nothing about the situation.

The process begins by identifying if you are stuck in the rut or settling into the mud. For the sake of this post, stuck in the rut, you want out and you are trying to be free. Settling into the mud, you have given up. You’re settling.

  • Look at your situation. Are you where you want to be??
  • Look at the people you spend the most time with, where are they in the scenario above?
  • Are you envious, angry or sadden by individuals who are achieving their goals and living their lives?
  • Identify if there are hidden agendas of why you do not want to get out of the mud? Is there a valid reason? Are you in denial? Are you living in a fantasy created by you? Are hoping for the best and you know it will not happen? Are you doing the same things with the same people and expecting a different outcome? Remember, that is said to be insanity.
  • Are you waiting for someone else to make the move of getting you out of the mud? It is not up to anyone to get you out, but you. God will assist, if you ask for His guidance and obey His directions. Do not depend on others to get you out, because they may be stuck, also.
  • Are you exhausted and tired and have no strength to try anymore. God will grant you strength.
  • Is fear paralyzing you? God will give you courage.

The next 2 posts, You can’t See the Forest from the Trees; Tug of War; will assist, educate and guide you on becoming a better you.

Set a goal, make a plan and apply interventions. If that doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and try again. Your ultimate goal is to be free. It may take time, but you are working and thinking of innovating ways to get you to  level ground.  Listen to wise counsel, research new ways and don’t give up.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1Amplified Bible (AMP)

CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FROM THE TREES

The New Year begins. Self-reflection stirs. This is the time of the year when many people look back on the previous year. Many will smile and nod, on the goals accomplished, pressing forward to new challenges, to further their destiny.

Others may ponder on the past and realize some achievements were met, while others were not. They begin to devise plans to complete unaccomplished objectives.

Then, there is the group of people who perceives the past with sadness. Considering each month, of the previous year, and discover they are stuck in a rut and wonder why?

Ask the, who, what, when, why, where, and how questions to yourself.

  • How did you get in this rut?
  • What was the chain of events?
  • Where did it occur?
  • Why did it happen?
  • Who played key roles?
  • When did occur?

The truth is, sometimes you don’t realize you’re in a rut, until you do self-reflection, someone tells you, or you notice people of your age group are doing and achieving more than you.

You must return to the scene of the crime. Go back to origin. Of course, self-preservation will kick in. You want to protect yourself from hurt. No one wants to admit or accept the hard reality that nothing has changed for you. After the various excuses have been conjured and the blame game has been played, you remain in the rut. Or, maybe you will beat yourself up for long periods of time, crying, being depressed, playing the should have, could have game. I should have done this, or I could have done that; mulling over all the bad choices made and feeling sorry for yourself. Guess what? You are still in the rut.

Stop the madness. Forgive yourself. Make plans to move forward. Follow the basic steps below, to at least get yourself going.

  • Get help. Ask God for help. I cannot emphasize enough that you can do all things with God on your side. You cannot make this journey alone. You do not need to travel on this venture alone. God will, lead, guide and protect.
  • Concept of change. Things will need to change. You must change. Because your previous way of thinking did not work. Change comes from within. If you refuse to change, you will remain.
  • Get a firm mindset. Set your mind and keep it set. This journey should be more than a verbal commitment it should be a mental agreement.
  • Fear is a key component why people do not change, come out of a rut or do anything challenging. What if I fail? What if it does not work? If God has guided you in the correct direction: You will not fail. And, it will work. You will not know until you try. Stop living in fear. Take the plunge.
  • Comfort zones. Today, people are addicted to comfort and convenience. If anything is outside of the comfort zone, many people will not push beyond their security sector. Nothing outstanding or rewarding will occur living in a restful region. Stir things up.
  • Prepare. Do your research. Get the tools needed. Gather information on your quest. Talk to other people who have taken this journey.
  • Baby steps. Take small steps. Test the water. If it is working, keep going. If not, step back, rework and step out again.
  • Expect roadblocks. Things will happen. Unexpected events will emerge. Expect them. Deal with them. Move forward.  Nothing worth having will ever be problem free.
  • Do not expect all people to cheer you on. If you are leaving people behind in the rut, do not assume they will be happy for you. Misery loves company. Be prepared for guilt trips, anger, snide remarks and departures of friends and family.

Step out of the rut, and put your feet on solid ground and live.

 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19King James Version (KJV)

TUG OF WAR

Tug of War is a sport between two teams to test strength and strategy. The two teams battle with the instrument of a rope. The winning team pulls their opponents over a designated line, sometimes into water or mud. It is a sport of strength and endurance.

There are multiple tugs of war, which are battled each day. The battle of right and wrong; to stay or to leave; to run or rest; to fight or flight; or accept or decline. For this post, the tug of war addressed, one of the main causes of many dilemmas and the reason why things go unfilled, are distractions.

One definition of distractions are things that make it difficult to think or pay attention.  Distractions can be good. These could be items that amuses or entertains, to prevent you from thinking about problems or worries. The distractions that I am referring, are the components that prevent you from fulfilling dreams; elements that prevent you from your destiny; substances that avert you from becoming what you know you should be.

Distractions can start off to be minor. You vowed to clean your house. You have the mindset to do this chore. You need to check your email, and, of course, you need to answer some of them. Then, there is notification alert on Facebook. Now, you must scroll through to like or comment on some articles, sayings or pictures. You must befriend new people. Now, the task of housecleaning comes back. But, you are hungry. A meal is prepared. Dishes are washed. After that you do a few errands. While out you are out you run into a friend. You all have coffee. On the way home, you pass by a store with a 60% discount on all items. Stopping is a must. Finally, you made it back home. Just about the time you start the housecleaning expedition. You remember you must set your DVR to record a program. A certain movie is on that you have not seen in years. You promise yourself just as soon as the program goes off, you will get started. The movie is over. You are tired. You decide to do the house cleaning another day.

Distraction may hinder major events.

  • Relocating to a new area
  • Starting a new relationships
  • Going back to school
  • Starting a business,
  • Getting a better job

We are all plagued with the distraction fever.  The world has made that concept very easy. With cell phones, cameras; texting, social media, emails, and all other online communications, these are only a few detours. The sense of self-importance that you need to be contacted, immediately, on all matters. You must respond to all texts and emails, expeditiously. Every avenue of your life, pictures must be taken. And, you must stay connected to all of your 900 friends on FB.  Do the test, if someone gives you 5 tasks to perform, how many can be completed before you get distracted.

Opposite of distractions is focus. To focus mean to direct your attention to a specific event, item or situation. Ways to focus:

  • Get God.
  • Admit you are easily distracted.
  • Allow a certain amount of time for distractions.
  • Things that need to be accomplished, write them down. Focus on following the list.
  • Give yourself a time table to complete tasks.
  • Reward yourself when you have been focused for a period of time.
  • Process of elimination. Eliminate people or anything that may be a source of distractions.
  • Turn off notifications, alerts and any other bells and whistles until your tasks are completed.

Tug of War is a battle of strength and endurance. Distraction are a signs of weakness and the inability to focus. If you want to advance in life, you must have the capability to pay attention to detail without diversion.

Stop the tug. Win the war. Focus on the events that count and will make you a better you.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Proverbs 4:25 (KJV)