Many times I see people in the Pagan community who get ‘stuck’. Through no fault of their own, they get into a position that they don’t seem to get out of. I myself has fallen into this predicament many times in my life. It doesn’t matter if it is a physical, spiritual or mental issue. You become unable to move. And you may feel so lost that you aren’t sure what way is up. The situation can feel hopeless. Many times it may take someone else’s help to start you moving to get out of the situation.
Sometimes people who are stuck like this come to me for an intuitive reading. I have been honored to be the catalyst for some of these people to realize that there are issues in their life that they need to tend to, and that is what is making them stuck. And I have been excited to watch as they start to lift themselves out of this situation, strengthen their spirit and find new ways to live and grow. To see this transformation is a blessing in itself. Someone who is willing to transform their energy also helps to lift others around them. I think on these clients that have taken my suggestions and transformed with happiness and joy. I am amazed at how powerful and strong they become.
I also get clients who aren’t for some reason willing to listen to my suggestions. One pops out in particular, and I will use them for an example. The reading brought out that this person’s spouse was cheating on them with the client’s best friend. In fact, the client confirmed this, and went further to say that the best friend suggested to the client that they stay with their spouse because the spouse loved them so much. But the guidance from the reading was very much in disagreement. The message I got for the client was that they needed to get out of the situation; that it was toxic for the client’s growth as well as their self-esteem. Yet later, I ran into the client again at a local pagan event, still very much connected to the cheating spouse and best friend, who were at the event with the client.
Change isn’t easy. It sounds easy, but it’s not. In order to change, even a little, we have to be willing to change our habits and thinking. We have to be willing to try something new and stick with those modifications in order to make a change stick. It doesn’t matter if this change is physical, mental or spiritual; you have to put in the work to get what it is what you want.
In other words, you have to move toward that change.
The people who cannot move toward the change they wish may not be doing it purposefully. Counselors are taught that when someone is in a situation they refuse to move from, it is because they are still getting something of value out of that change. It may be negative feedback they are receiving, but they are still receiving something. In the case of my client, perhaps they feel that they have an identity as a pushover, or a victim. The client is getting feedback from the spouse and the best friend to stay in the relationship; in other words stay in the victim and/or the pushover role. And until the client no longer wants that role, they will not make a move to change.
I know the theory sounds simple, and to those from the outside looking at someone stuck in a situation that is harmful to them, we may be flabbergasted that the person cannot change. But this is far from simple to the person who needs to do the change. It takes a great deal of courage to step out of that which is comfortable and try something new. That is where those of us watching someone who is trying to make a change in their life need to tread carefully. To us, the change a person is trying to make looks easy; but the person making the change feels like every move toward that change is a significant struggle.
Overall, the entire situation is frustrating for both sides, especially when the person who tries to make a change backslides. It gets even worse when the person is so tied into the negative situation that they recognize it’s bad and constantly talk about the change they want yet never makes a move toward making things better. This happens a lot. In cases where the person refuses to change, perhaps they are getting something from the people suggesting the changes. Perhaps they are getting attention because of the situation they are in, and that is their reward for being in the negative situation. Another possibility is that there could be a reason why the change cannot occur yet. Perhaps they need to understand what it is that is going on around them before they change, so when they are in a similar situation later, they know what they need to do, or could be of service to someone else facing the same change.
So why am I posting about this now? It’s because I have seen it yet again this past weekend. It’s the same scenario – someone wanting change, they were invited to come to a ceremony that would be a catalyst for that change, but suddenly they were not able to attend, even though they expressed an interest in trying to better their situation. And after the event, those same people again started to lament that forces beyond their control forced them to not make it (which wasn’t entirely the case), and lament their woes because they yet again are stuck in a situation they cannot get out of.
It also doesn’t hurt to enlist help when making changes in your life. In the scenario I presented above, the client might do well with a certified counselor. Others may do well by looking into speaking with a trusted friend, a spiritual advisor, finding a support group, getting a divinatory reading or looking for help in an area that they have not yet tried.
Perhaps discussing in this post is the very basic theory of why people do and don’t change will help someone understand why they are stuck. Perhaps someone will look at this and see the theory that is discussed, and have the a-ha moment to get out of this situation. Maybe not. But writing about it is something that at least helps me. I was not the only one who recognized that people who needed and wanted to be there to help get them out of the situation were not present. I was not the only one this past weekend who gets frustrated with people who frequently complain about their situation but never do anything about it. And perhaps I needed to re-remember the fact that it is THEIR lives, and perhaps they are stuck, but it isn’t my place to help them get ‘unstuck’ without their being a part of it. I can’t force them to go do something that would force a change in their life. They have to do it for themselves. The only thing I can do is to ensure that should they get to the point where they refuse to help themselves, that I am aware that they are at that point and take care not to get involved in a situation with the person where I get pulled into their drama.
If you are someone who wants to make a change, don’t give up. Even incremental movement is something. Just being open to moving out of your comfort zone puts you way ahead of the game. And for me, if people ask me for help, I’ll be there to do what I can, but it will be up to the person who wants to change to move.
Photo from Deviant Art