By David Alan White
As I sat down in the coffee shop to talk with my friend, I realized that there are so many people who has spoken to me in the past week that appear to be feeling the same way that my friend is sharing with me. They cannot seem to put a finger on what it is exactly but, they all have said the same thing to me; “I am just not happy!” I am not happy. Wow, what a statement. Everyone that has said that to me had different things going on in their lives but they all ended with that statement- “I am not happy!”
And my response has always been the same; do you mean that you feel stuck? And the eyes light up and the jaw drops as they shake their heads and say yes! They are shocked and amazed that “stuck” was the word that had eluded them. “Yes, I feel stuck and I do not know what to do to shake this feeling” he said to me and I have a feeling that there are more people who feel the same way and want the same result; to shake this feeling.
Are You Stuck? Trauma and Stuff
I know, you see trauma and think that is not the problem Dave. Most of us have experienced some form of trauma in our lifetime and many people have no idea that they have indeed experienced trauma because their idea or concept of trauma looks different from what they are or have experienced. There is the single parent who has the responsibility of providing a safe and secure place to live (that is dependent upon their financial situation), they are responsible for keeping their family fed (again, that is dependent upon their financial situation), they are responsible for so much in providing for their families and oftentimes, they spend very little time with taking care of themselves. That can be very traumatic.
There are so many various forms of trauma from individuals who experienced sexual harassment and abuse, many people are traumatized by serious cases of family dysfunction, there are times where hundreds or even thousands of people experience trauma from a shared event like a natural disaster and other numerous examples of trauma including:
- Accident and death
- Racism or Bigotry
- Poverty and drug abuse
- Witnessing Violence
The thing that you need to know about experiencing trauma is the fact that, it may present the effects of that traumatic event in different ways for different people. Many of the things that are listed above are unfortunately, everyday occurrences and because the effects are different for everyone, many people do not know that they are responding to the effects of a traumatic event.There are quite a few individuals that silently deal with anxiety and irritability and will often confess to friends and family that they are “just a little stressed”. While for some, it may appear in their lives in the form of relational issues, many people feel helpless or hopeless. We become stuck. Our feeling hopeless or helpless can cause issues with our self-image and self-esteem. When we feel that there is little hope or that we are a hopeless cause; we have difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak or we see the light and just know that it is the train about to run you down!
Are You Stuck? Where Is Your Focus
When I was younger, I would hear people say that “you cannot see the forest for the trees”. To be perfectly honest, I thought that was the dumbest thing that I have ever heard! But, it has such a great message. So, back to my friend. I asked him to tell me about the most pressing problem that he was facing that made him feel like he was stuck. After sifting through everything we finally got to the heart of the matter which was, can you guess what it was? Yes! He had become so overwhelmed with everything that he lost sight of his target; he could not see how he would ever reach his desired goal because it looked so far away that he never had a strategy to get him there.
I have a very corny saying but, it is a good illustration. “You can only eat an elephant one bit at a time”. But there are other reasons why we might feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, it may appear as life or the source of our trauma consumes our lives. Does it seem as if everything is filtered through your trauma? All that you hear seems to be “you are not good enough”, “It is your fault, you should be ashamed”, or “they did that just to make me look bad”!
Where is your focus, is it on the problem or the solution? Does it seem as though you are so focused on the problem that you feel like people see you the same way that you see yourself? And because you are so focused on the problem you begin to feel anxiety or irritable, is it possible that these moments cause you to see yourself as hopeless? Please understand that I do not think that trauma is the only source that causes people to feel stuck; that is not the case at all. There a many reasons for individuals to feel as though they are stuck and trauma is just one of many.
Are You Stuck? Can We Talk About It
Well, let us talk about how things can change when you change what you focus on. Seeking professional help can be a great benefit to those who are experiencing feelings of being unfulfilled, feelings of being stuck in life or those who suffer from a wounded or broken heart.
We seek professional help when our car has some sort of issue that hinders peak performance. We will lose our cool if our phones begin to stop doing whatever we think it should be doing. We should have the same mindset when it comes to our lives, professional help can be very beneficial in helping us to get moving in the right direction.
Counseling can play an important part in your journey towards living a productive and fulfilling life. Counseling can help you in accomplishing the goals and dreams that have seemed impossible to achieve by assisting you in identifying the thoughts and feelings that may have impaired your progress towards reaching those dreams and goals.
Feeling stuck, feeling as though your time to accomplish your life goals have come and gone is never a good feel to have. I would like to encourage you to keep working towards those goals. It is never too late. Seek out professional help to assist you in identifying obstacle to your success and to develop strategies that will increase your ability to reach your desired goals. Everyone will experience setbacks from time to time in their lives, it is what it is but, whenever you find yourself unable to start moving forward, please remember that you do not have to be alone in the process towards a fulfilled life.
Disappointment, discouragement and distractions can cause us to become stuck in life as we lose sight of our dreams and goals. For more information on this topic and more, please visit http://goo.gl/f3a7uz
Restoring Lives, Renewing Dreams, Imagine the Possibilities!
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