Physically, stuck. In my car. On a snowy, slippery path declining straight into a river. Couldn't reverse out of it, couldn't move any farther forward. My palms were sweating, my heart was racing, and my lunch hour was quickly running out. Soon I'd be late getting back to work. And here I was -- stuck.
I tried rocking back and forth, going from "drive" to "reverse" as swiftly as I could. I'd back up a few inches and think I was saved, only to have my tires start spinning again and slide back down the hill, even closer to the river. Being in a state forest in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, there wasn't anyone around to beg for help. I felt doomed.
After a long while, I realized I could pull forward and off the path to the right, risking gunning the engine and avoiding trees and picnic tables and any unseen rocks far enough to swing back around and meet up with the main road farther down. In a moment of bravery, I did just that. I managed to steer clear of any stumps and ended up getting one wheel up onto the main road before I was stuck even harder than before -- now looking like a fool, having driven my car through the woods from the direction of the river. Holding back tears, I saw a man and his dog pull up just then and asked him to help push me out. Within just seconds, I put the car in neutral, steered straight ahead, and this earth angel pushed me to safety. Adrenaline rushed and I was freed, only a few minutes behind schedule. I thanked him profusely and sped back to work, shoes soaked and pants muddy.
The thing is.....in that moment of sweaty-palms, racing-heart, and teary-eyes, I was so totally sure I was stuck. I was stuck. My car wasn't moving. The snow was against me. I'd be there forever, or until a tow truck came. There was no getting around it. Stuck, stuck, stuck.
Once I was able to gain some perspective on the situation, I realized how familiar that place is: going into survival mode, dropping down into a pit of despair, throwing up hands and throwing in the towel. It's so easy. And it's a pretty common place -- you've said yes to plans you wished you'd said no to, you're in a job you hate and there's no other options, you declare yourself depressed and there's no way out anytime soon, you don't know what to do in that tricky situation. For the past month I've known that place intimately. Shutting out light and declaring myself "stuck." Waiting for the upswing, as if it's some great outside force that's going to come sweep you off your feet and drop you back into the real world. Deciding it must be a reaction to a food or a general dissatisfaction for current circumstances. The label of "stuck." Anything to keep the responsibility away.
Yes, I know that place, well.
To which I now say, fuck "stuck."
(I say this in the gentlest of ways, like an urgent encouragement of the word "stuck" to dislodge itself from your mind.)
"Stuck" is just a mindset. It's not real. It does not define you. Contrary to what your mind is trying to tell you, it isn't a place you're in.
It's a state of being, in your head. Which is good news, because we can change those much easier than we can a two-ton vehicle sliding through the snow on a hill.
Flip the switch. Feel into what you need and make any tiny little adjustment that needs making. Open the heart chakra. Make a decision, in that instant, to let love in. Smile, breathe, trust. You are not stuck. Fuck stuck. You are never stuck.
Just open. Open yourself up a tiny little bit, invite in a gentle softening.
Suddenly a crack of light will make its way into your field of vision. You can step forward and open the door, and that crack will become wider, bigger, brighter, until the whole room of your heart is lit up. And you can hold onto that doorknob anxiously, just waiting for the next opportunity to ease it shut again, or you can
let it go. And exhale and smile and let it all pass through you, aware and trusting.
And throw your arms up and stand in your light, bravely.
Because you are never stuck.