“You don’t have to solve your whole life overnight. And you don’t have to feel ashamed for being where you are. All you have to focus on is one small thing you can do today to get closer to where you want to be. Slowly and lightly, one step at a time. You can get there.” Daniell Koepke, ‘DARING TO TAKE UP SPACE’
I was asked what advice I might offer someone feeling trapped and stuck in their circumstances. I replied, “We are rarely as trapped and stuck as we perceive ourselves to be. I think fear of the unknown keeps us in that trapped, stuck space however, we as humans are over comers and with some thought and planning we can spring the trap and un-stick ourselves.” I thought a great deal about what the “unknown” is. Can I shed even a little light on it? I’ve forged the rapids of my own “unknown” and though it’s different for each of us, I do think a few things are similar. It seems like we talk about the issues and events that lead us to the point of making a major decision and there’s the aftermath of that decision however no one talks about the space in between. That space in time where we struggle. Change is not always easy if ever at all, no matter how positive it is. The space in between the decision being made and where we can see the path leading us off in the distance tends to drop down into a valley of growth first. That place where we begin making adjustments and course corrections. That place where we are uncomfortable and long for what we once knew. What is in our past was familiar and familiar is comfortable.
I felt caged, boxed in. It was as if I were bound, tied and gagged and I felt utterly hopeless. I would try to resign myself to the fact that I had picked my poison and what I saw was what I was going to get ….. And yet, there was a still small voice that whispered into my heart, “Jess, there is so much more.” I would counter with all the threats he’d made over the years. As I paced my cage I would replay them over and over sure that what I risked losing was far greater than what I might gain. The inner turmoil almost always reached a fever pitch that culminated in me dissolving into a puddle of tears, soaking the floor. He had me exactly where he wanted me. He even went so far as to say one night to a close friend, “What’s she going to do, divorce me?!?!”, laughing with utter disdain in his voice. So to say that I get “it”, is an understatement. What I would say now is, “You are never as trapped, stuck or bound as you feel you are.” Small baby steps taken add up to massive change over time. For me, it was finally allowing myself to entertain a conversation with that small still voice and beginning to ask questions like, “What do you mean there is so much more? What does that look like? What does that feel like?”
I tend to be an all in kinda girl. I don’t do much the perceived, easy way. Lol! I bolted out of my marriage quite literally, without any sort of a plan! I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. Rather than taking one step at a time, preparing and planning, I hurled myself off the proverbial cliff hoping I might find a parachute along the way to strap on or at the least, a few outcroppings to slow my decent! Looking back, I may have done things differently in how I prepared however I would still do it all over again! In that space in between, where I am today and the day I threw myself over the edge of the cliff, I learned what I’m made of, what I’m capable of and I began to find myself.
In that space in between, down in the valley, we are tested and tried. How faithful are we to the decision we made? My ‘wasband’ worked double over time in his best effort to woo me back into his grip. Everything that had ever worked for him in the past he was throwing out there hoping one of those things might take hold of me, might grip me like a grappling hook being cast and set. The inner struggle began. How easy it would have been to agree to return to all the false promises he was puking out. I drove those around me, crazy with my indecision. From the outside looking in, it blew their minds that I would even consider returning to such a vile relationship and yet for me, it was what I knew, it was familiar and comfortably uncomfortable. I would remind myself why I plunged off the cliff in the first place, replay all his idle threats that had kept me trapped and feel back into the pain of my soul dying under his suffocating reign over me. As I did, he would feel his grip slipping and the temper tantrum that ensued only fortified my decision. I was changing the game and the fury that burned deep within him would erupt in terrifying explosions!
The baby steps in that valley are what carried me along further and further toward the light and out of the darkness. With each step, each growing pain and each moment of conviction knowing I was doing what was right and true for my kids and I, I began to build momentum and I gained strength. No one shared with me that the valley would feel dark and damp at times, that the walls would feel as if they were closing in. No one told me that the growth I would experience would be painful. And maybe that’s because for each of us, that space in between our big decision and the other side is different, unique to each individual. What I learned was that I wasn’t as trapped as I once believed I was.
I encourage you to give yourself permission to peak out from behind the prison bars that bind you. Allow yourself to have a conversation with the part of you that is whispering, gently stating, “There is so much more for you.” You are not as trapped, stuck or buried as you might think. If it’s unhealthy, if it’s toxic, if it’s not working, pick up the bat, step up to the plate and start swinging. My horses and I are here behind home plate ready to coach, encourage and support you through the space in between as you begin to find yourself too 😉 You can find us at: http://untetheredhearts.com/ , reach out, set up an exploratory call or session and experience what it feels like to move toward the light on the other end of the valley ❤
“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”