Stuck… without a smile!

How often do you think, “I’m stuck”? Pretty often, eh? I’ve felt that several times, and at the time then, I’m stuck in that feeling. So this is a reminder to myself.

For many of us, these clichéd phrases hold deep meaning and may have serious consequences, although the situations we are in are more often than not pretty commonplace. Annoyingly, we walk around wearing an expression that tells the world that we are stuck… [check] What’s worse, is that we silently imply (albeit, inadvertently) that it’s their fault that we’re stuck!

Stuck in a rut

Stuck in a routine

Stuck in a jam

Stuck in a relationship

Stuck in a job

Stuck to a nasty boss

Stuck to the boredom

Stuck in the rigmarole

Stuck to a spouse who won’t live with you but won’t leave you

Stuck in a life without meaning

Stuck in a place with nowhere to go

Stuck in a situation with no hope in sight

Stuck financially

Stuck with bad health

Stuck in a spot

Stuck in a past life with baggage that grows heavier by the minute

Specifics of each situation may be unique, but in a broad sense – at the macro level – these are everyday situations for everyday people, i.e. for all of us. So, is there no solution? But of course, there is, just as there is a solution to every problem conceivable… Even if the system is indeterminate, (mathematically speaking), it’s worth a try. But first, what is the problem? To find a solution, even a doctor asks of the patient, “What is your problem?”

We assume that the person/s across, whom we think we know well – our neighbor, our friend, our boss, our colleague, our subordinate, our partner’s ex, our spouse, our kids, our kids’ friends, our teacher, our gardener, our house help, our chauffeur, our relatives, our in-laws… s/he or they are all doing better than us. We believe that each of them is having an easier, more fulfilled life, has been dealt better cards through life, and hence appear to be a happy/happier person/s. S/he is able to wear a smile because s/he is trouble free… because, unlike us, s/he is not stuck in any way. Now, nurturing such a belief, or making an assumption like this in itself is a mighty huge problem. Yes, that is a problem. The first step is to detach oneself from this core notion. Effectively, acceptance of the fact – we all have problem/s in life – is very necessary. Life is a series of problems that must be solved. Some seem to have an easier test, but what if they don’t have the skills to cope with even that easy test, wouldn’t it be difficult for them? 

The very thought, that nobody else (or none of the folks I know) have encountered a problem (or a series of problems) such as the ones I have, and hence my issues are the biggest, unsolvable, and I’m stuck for life is a thought that must be banished from one’s head. No doubt, because each individual’s life is unique, the circumstances and situation are never comparable to the next person’s circumstances and situation, no matter how similar these may seem. Yet, despite the differences, the common platform is that Person X is in a difficult situation and must cope with it. Person Y is in a difficult situation and must cope with it… so on so forth. If each of the Persons A – Z were to wear long faces, and walk around as though the end of the world is just around the corner… wouldn’t we all be unhinged! Quite a bizarre world we would be living in, eh?

Life is like a puzzle. When you play a video game, or are given a puzzle (with no time limit for completion), many of us are engrossed in it, and enjoy the challenge of solving it. Some day, we’d like to see the complete picture, or solve the topmost level of the video game. Why not view life similarly? When we’re stuck at a level in a game, or while putting a picture puzzle together, would we blame the world, or would we say the other person has an easier game to play with? We would not indulge in such pointless comparisons. Likewise, meaningless comparisons to the next person’s life have no bearing on your situation or life problem. How about spending the energy, the skill-sets we’re endowed with to solve our unique problem/s. When we overcome the hurdle, there’s bound to be joy at having crossed what seemed at the time like a quagmire.

I recently met a very accomplished person and marveled at her accomplishments. Later I learned about her life-long physical handicap since birth. The new knowledge confounded me. But it also gave me renewed energy and a zest to make the most with my able-body and mind. Although this new friend was stuck to a chair… through her mental vitality she was soaring. With plenty to smile about, I refuse to be stuck. Lest I forget a lesson learned, this, as I said at the outset, is a note to myself… a reminder that’s stuck now in my head. 🙂









2 thoughts on “Stuck… without a smile!

    1. You’re quite right, Lata Subramanian. Sometimes, the choice of multiple solutions makes it difficult to pick one. It’s almost like if we had only two sets of outfits to wear, we’d have little choice, we’d wear the only one that’s hanging in the closet, but when the closet offers choice, we take time to decide. 🙂 Thank you, for stopping by.

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