Have you ever found yourself in a stuck place? A place where you feel like you’re hemmed in and can’t move. Perhaps at this very moment, you’re finding it hard to even breathe and the walls are closing in on you. The frustrating, mind-numbing, sense of helplessness that occurs when you are stuck happens at least once in most of our lives.
For some, there is a collective sense of being “stuck”. Poverty, racism, sexism, chronic illness, grief, these are all examples of things or situations that can leave a group of people feeling like they’re in a perpetual stuck place. Imagine a piece of gum stuck to your shoe that JUST WON”T COME OFF. You try and try yet the gum is connected to the shoe.
As I was reading Becoming Michelle Obama this statement jumped out at me and I begin to think about the times when I’ve been in a stuck place. Sometimes, you can’t get the gum disconnected from the shoe. But, if you position yourself a little differently than you have a little wiggle room. Then, if you can put a sign up so that no one else walks in the path where the gum is, you’ve prevented others from getting stuck. Perhaps you take it a step further and lobby the sidewalk cleaners union to clean up the gum. Now, you’ve removed the gum entirely and no one has to worry about getting stuck.
I understand that there are times and seasons where all we can do is try and get ourselves unstuck. However, I hope that I’ve paid (or sowed) forward enough compassion and generosity that SOMEONE will stop and help me when I am stuck. May we all aim to be aware of the collective “stuck places” around us.