Oftentimes I feel “stuck”– I enter a state of mind that doesn’t believe it has been growing. I’ll explain it to myself as a state of continuously doing the same things that I had done before without getting anything out of it, and that it feels insurmountable to get out. Moods like this can persist from a few hours to days or even weeks. When you’re “stuck”, what can you do?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard recently was about karma. Not in the traditional application, where I’ve always imagined it as a divine intervention judging our actions as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but karma in the habits we find ourselves in. They didn’t come out of thin air– we’re where we are because we invested in our situation, whether in the direction we want to head in or not.
When you accept this, it completely contradicts the notion of ‘being stagnant’ in life. Stagnation is a myth– or, better yet, stagnation in life is death itself. Edgy, but in this moment there’s something we can all do to change the trajectory of our lives, subtly or substantially, for a different moment in time. Engaging online and exposing yourself to content creates combatting ideas in your thought process. Even when we choose not to, that isn’t stopping other people or the environment. We’re constantly changing and so is everything around us.
Once I come back to this thought, I find it easier to re-engage with my own situation. I’ve allowed myself to slow down, which is generally the hardest part for me. I’m going to change anyway, so I might as well do something beneficial. Maybe it’s throwing out something that’s been bothering me merely with its presence or going for a silent walk to change my immediate environment. Ideally, these small decisions begin to snowball into an avalanche of positive karma.
The idea of stagnation goes against every natural indication we see in the world. I would go so far as to say it’s a form of spiritual violence we commit to ourselves. Stagnation might be the most basic, formless version of spiritual violence as it denies us life and expression. Violence can be seen on a comparative scale to imagination, where the presence of violence stomps out any way to view possible futures. Having access to imaginative, creative thought can see past the limited, constructed violent realities. By definition, stagnation is the denial of any future except “this” one. But once you create a new future, where there’s one less article of clothing on the floor, one less plate in the sink– you slowly regain your agency to write the future. When you’re “stuck,” you do what you can.
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