The Secret to Getting Out of the Car…

November 18, 2015

There are times when I have it all figured out. Everything from my wardrobe to my agenda is perfectly outlined. I’ve even completed a few tasks for the upcoming weeks. Life is bliss and my confidence is at an all-time high. Then there are times when I find myself sitting in the car with my eyes closed and my head resting on the steering wheel.  I am emotionally drained, mentally exhausted, and I have nothing figured out. The demands of the world can’t touch me during this moment of silence in the car.  It is the only time in the day where I feel any sense of accomplishment.

I struggle with these moments because I don’t want to come off as unappreciative. I have a wonderful life for which I am truly grateful. Yet, my list of “reasons to smile” do nothing for the emptiness I feel inside. Perhaps that is my problem. I feel empty. Nothing new is happening for me, but so much newness is happening around me. Let’s face it, sometimes we want to be a part of the action that creates excitement for everyone else. The lack of progression, coupled with our everyday routines and seemingly impossible goals, tend to lead to feelings of…unfulfillment. So I find myself sitting in silence in the car. Sometimes I’m just parked in the garage. My children have already helped take my belongings inside the house. It’s just me sitting in the car because I haven’t conjured up the strength to get out yet. Other times, I make it all the way to the store and have no motivation to do any shopping. The temporary fix of a new pair of shoes simply won’t suffice.

​We go through these lackluster stages in life quite often and it is never easy. Whether we are in between the interview and the call back, or in between short and long hair, the wait for a favorable outcome can be overwhelming. I once thought that the distress in waiting was due solely to a lack of patience, but I am learning that it also derives from feelings of uncertainty. While we are willing to wait for what we KNOW will happen, waiting seems like an eternity when we are not sure IF it will happen. I also recognize that I become very withdrawn while battling these feelings of emptiness. I hesitate to talk about the changes I’m really longing for, for fear of “jinxing” it. Therefore, I put on a brave face to engage with the world, and then sit in my car with my eyes closed and head down as I ask God, “will it ever happen for me?”   I cannot say I’ve discovered the cure to avoid this stage altogether. What I can say is that I will not stay here. Life is full of ups and downs…and I will rise again.  In the meantime, I will encourage myself to breathe and believe.

If I can offer you anything in this post, please consider following my “two-step program” for surviving that lackluster stage in life. Step one, get out of the car! I declare that you are making progress if you manage to get out of the car. Day by day, getting out will include holding your head up, smiling, and maybe even doing some shopping. I say that in jest but seriously, sometimes you have to delight in the smallest accomplishments to notice that you are moving forward. Step two, keep the faith.  I know you have the end in mind, but please don’t limit your faith to only believing that the end goal is possible. Faith is also believing that the first step is powerful. I am stepping out of the car. What step will you take today?

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