Have you ever been stuck in the mud with shoes on? I have. Several years ago we had a water line break and we had a huge flood in our back yard. The water was running down into the window wells and seeping through into our basement.
As the neighbors came rushing to help us with buckets in hand, we all ended up standing in deep mud. Most were able to get out of the mud with shoes in tact. I, however, was not so fortunate. My flip flops were not allowing me to move. I was stuck! As I kept tugging and moving I managed to get free, but one of my flip flops could not endure the constant tugging and it broke. The other was too stuck to get free and I had to leave it in the mud in order to get out. I was so sad because they were my favorite pair. They were so cute!
Maybe you too have had a time where your shoes were stuck in the mud and no matter how hard you pulled you couldn’t get loose! You realized the only way to get free from the mud was to release yourself from the shoes, leaving them behind in order to move forward.
I have discovered, the death of a spouse can become a messy pile of mud in this thing called life. I have also discovered it can become easy to get stuck in that mud. Grief, which includes fear, sadness and loneliness, is something that can cause someone to get stuck.
We all have situations arise in our life that can become a pile of mud. Maybe you are afraid to let go of someone, even though it is not the best situation for you. Maybe you have a dead-end job. Maybe you are involved in an abusive relationship. Maybe you are addicted to pornography. Maybe you are battling cancer.
Our trials, hardships, or just even the simple things of day-to-day living can become different piles of mud in our lives. We can become stuck in the thick of it all and not quite sure how to get out and move forward. We may free ourselves from one pile only to discover that we have stepped right into another.
Whatever your situation, it can become scary to free ourselves from the mud in our lives. What if there is no one better? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if no one else wants me? What if I fail? What if I can’t overcome this addiction? What if I die?
It can be incredibly difficult to let go of the “what if’s” in our lives. But those “what if’s” are often the cause for us becoming stuck in the mud. In order to become free from the mud, we need to remove those things that are preventing us from moving forward.
Recently, I realized that there was a situation in my life where I had become stuck in the mud. Upon that realization, I knew that things needed to change in order for me to become free to move forward. What it meant for me was letting go of someone who I cared about. I have learned that “It’s not holding on that makes one strong, sometimes it’s the letting go”.
Sometimes you have to let go of people not because they are bad or because you are, but simply because you are unable to progress any further. You are “stuck” in a situation where things just simply cannot be. For me, that is the hardest kind of relationship to sever. Life is about progression and moving forward. Sometimes that means cutting off all ties-as painful as that may be.
We have to remove those temptations in our lives that prevent us from letting go. Facebook, like other modern technology, is a definite temptation…it is human nature to want to know about others, especially someone you care about. Let’s just be honest here, when trying to "move on", if you can continue to see and know what someone is doing, how do you let go? Sometimes the knowing what is going on creates more pain and doubt within your soul. So, yep, it may even mean you have to “de-friend” someone on Facebook...just make sure whatever you do, you do it with kindness.
Letting go is not always easy, in fact, it can be incredibly difficult and painful. My recent experience was very hard for me. After shedding many tears, I have also learned that “sometimes the hardest thing, and the right thing are the same”.
My life was forever changed after the death of my husband. I have had to let go of the dreams we created together for our future…or I get stuck in a pile of mud. I have to live in the present and not dwell on the past or worry too much about the future…or I get stuck in a pile of mud. I have to be willing to let others help me…or I get stuck in a pile of mud. I cannot focus inward on self, but I must focus outward on others…or I get stuck in a pile of mud.
I have also learned it is not just about eliminating things in my life, but also there are specific things I must do on a daily basis in order to prevent me from getting stuck in a pile of mud. I must pray regularly, read the scriptures, show gratitude, and focus on serving others.
After I released myself from the mud and left behind my beloved flip flops, I purchased a new pair. It took some time to get used to them. They looked and felt different, but everything worked out fine.
In time, I actually became fond of the new pair of shoes. In fact, I have replaced the original pair several times and have found something unique and different about each pair. Some were definitely cuter or more comfortable than others, but I have survived each new change!
Putting on a new pair of shoes can be both exhilarating and a bit uncomfortable. As you begin to wear new shoes, you realize that they feel different than what you are used to. Maybe they feel a bit snug. Or maybe they even hurt your feet for awhile. But with time they become less snug. They become more comfortable.
As you adjust to wearing your new shoes, you may discover that you really like them. In fact, they may become the most favorite pair you have ever owned. In time they will get worn out and you will need a new pair. But that is ok because your new pair can also become your favorite pair.
You may buy a new pair of shoes and discover they are never comfortable. You are dealing with the blisters and constant aching feet for awhile and then realize maybe you better get some new ones. And even though it is a pain to go look for new ones, you realize that you must or your feet are always going to be hurting.
That is how it is with life, sometimes we are forced to make changes and leave things behind. Those things may be loved and cherished beyond measure. Or they may be things that are not so good for us. Or a combination of both. Whatever the case may be, we will find that it is possible to adjust to new circumstances that surround our lives. Those new and different circumstances may be very uncomfortable at first or may not be the exact way we want it, but in time we may even become fond of and even cherish them.
Let’s face it, life is hard! It becomes even harder when we are stuck in a pile of mud. It is time to free yourself of that horrible, thick mud! Remember it is not always about eliminating things, it also requires doing certain things.
Are you stuck in a pile of mud?
What are the things in your life causing you to become stuck and preventing you from moving forward?
What and how are you going to change to free yourself from the mud?
What things do you need to be doing to help you stay free from the mud?