Wolves (2)

“Completed Jigsaw Puzzle” photo courtesy of  K. Farwell

This morning I was reminded of how action, any action, is what is needed to “become unstuck.” That word gave me a small, but significant, “aha… moment.” I suddenly realized I have been stuck for about a week as I first reacted to and then started recovering from a bit of dysfunctional family type chaos that temporarily threw me off balance.  My soul felt bruised, and I’ve been coasting and letting myself “take it easy.”  Now I know what I must do to return to equilibrium so I can “move forward again in balance.” I have to start writing again!

In my “break” from both writing and crocheting, I have been taking solace in playing an on-line jigsaw puzzle game that takes concentration and cultivates patience…..and keeps my mind from obsessing about whatever happens to be bothering me.  In working these puzzles, I have discovered that when I think it is hopeless and I will never solve the puzzle, there are three things I can do to “start moving.” First, I can quit trying and push the computer button that makes the puzzle go away. Secondly, I can just keep doggedly trying even though nothing appears as if it will ever fit together, and eventually, slowly, piece by stubborn piece, it does. The last “technique” I use to solve these puzzles, and the one that seems to work the best for me,  is to put the puzzle on “pause” and come back to it later. When I return the remaining puzzle pieces seem to magically fall into place. It is as if I am seeing the pieces from a totally new and helpful perspective I never would have gained if I’d stayed bogged down in trying to force the pieces together.

As I wrote those words, I realized my life is like that. Sometimes I just use denial to “turn my problem(s) off.” Sometimes I doggedly keep trying to “force my problems fixed” all by myself because my stubborn ego or false self is running the show. Once in a while that works, but the stress associated with “stubbornly doing it myself” is harmful.  The best way I handle my life’s problems is to temporarily “put them on the back burner” as I pray about them and ask God for guidance. Sometimes, I have to seek confidential help from friends who can also listen and suggest various actions that might be helpful. In facing last week’s challenging life problem, I waited almost three days before I took action beyond praying and turning my problem over to God. I realized, with this new perspective I’d gained by “pausing,” that sometimes besides turning things over to God, I must also actively do something to help God’s will unfold. It is often something I don’t want to do, and I also frequently do not know what the outcome may be. It is at that time that I must move forward “on faith”——I must get my “problem pause” unstuck.   Then God and I can move forward in partnership once again.

I am not a religious scholar like many of my friends, but I believe it was the Methodists who stressed the importance of having to combine faith with works. For me that is true. I can spend years asking God to solve my problems, but there comes a time when I have to take some personal responsibility and take purposive action before positive outcomes can be achieved. This action shouldn’t be random, it should have a specific purpose. This action should be guided by God.  Using this approach has given me thirty-three years of recovery one day at a time, and I am learning this is how all aspects of my life need to be approached. God bless and keep you.