GETTING UNSTUCK (Or Is There a Life Lesson in Candy Crush)April 5th, 2014
We all get stuck sometimes.
Some of us find ourselves in unpleasant situations, like losing a job or not being able to find one, being in an abusive relationship, or dealing with unhealthy habits and addictions. We are unable to break away until the pain grows to a point where it becomes our greatest motivator to make a shift in our hearts, minds and souls. And get unstuck.
Some of us, on the other hand, get stuck in a comfortable situation, which we don’t even want to change, or see no reason WHY we would want to change it. But deep inside, we have this nagging feeling that we are living only half-awake – coasting, really – rather than actively living. We know we aren’t happy, despite the perfect image we give out to the world, and post on social media. (Related: blog post about keeping up the ‘perfect picture’)
APPLYING THE SAME PATTERNS WON’T WORK
Earlier this year I attended Mary Morrisey’s webinar, in which she gave a really great visual for times in our lives when we feel ‘stuck’ and we know we desire a change but we don’t know what to do. She pointed out how applying the same patterns and expecting a different picture will not work.
It’s really the same thought as Einstein’s famous definition of insanity: “Doing the same
thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Being ‘stuck’ means we are not getting anywhere. We aren’t growing, only working hard to keep our ‘hamster wheel’ spinning.
We aren’t getting anywhere, which means we aren’t growing personally, emotionally, spiritually or intellectually. We stay in the same place, doing the same thing, and wondering why we feel unbalanced and ‘off’, even unhappy.
Life flows like a river. When we are ‘stuck’ in the same place, we aren’t able to be present to its constant changes and movements.
The life’s river takes us; we float, but because we are half-asleep, we can’t really enjoy the ride and take in all its precious moments. We are not aware of the boulders in our way, or the white waters that leave us feeling exhausted and hurt.
We wake up one day really unhappy and miserable, far from where we started, feeling numb and lost.
LESSONS ARE EVERYWHERE, JUST KEEP YOUR MIND AND HEART OPEN
I believe that the Creator of all Life is the one who keeps the river of life flowing in the first place, and I am big on ‘surrendering’ to the bigger purpose and the open paths He guides my feet onto. But I also know that I have to be an active and engaged player. I have to keep my mind and my heart open to recognize the signs and make the best choices on my journey. (Related blog: Magic Wand? Or Combo of Hard Work and Faith)
I don’t play much (and that’s one area of my life that needs a change), but in my occasional moments of unwinding, I like to play Candy Crush.
Since I promised myself I would not solicit FB requests, or ever spend a penny on the game, I get ‘stuck’ a lot on different levels. Level 184 was giving me an extra hard time, until one night, after losing all of my lives, I decided to Google “solutions for beating level 184”. Right away, I found a few useful tips – like learning the difference between “vertical” and “horizontal” striped candies – which I hadn’t bothered to identify before.
Then I followed a link to an interview with Simon Leung, an award-winning Internet entrepreneur and Internet keynote speaker whose words I copied into my journal: “The challenge of passing each level represented the everyday challenges we go through in life. Sometimes, you will fail because you’ve made a bad choice or move. In the end, if you are persistent and don’t give up, even some of the most difficult stages in life can be overcome.”
When I went back to my level 184, I beat it in two tries and moved on to the next level. Just like that!
It felt so good to get ‘unstuck’!
In the morning, I collected the information I had gathered from my ‘research’ and wrote into my journal: “Lessons From Candy Crush”
1. Admit you are stuck at a particular level and seek counsel. There are people out there who have the answers.
2. Know your objective and how many moves you have – because the number is limited.
3. Know your distractions (the blinking candies) and obstructions (annoying chocolate factories) and how they affect your moves – in life this is especially important.
4. Know your assets – make sure you realize their full potential.
5. Don’t waste any moves – your resources may be limited.
6. You could play mindlessly and sometimes you will luck out. The randomness of the game will eventually make all the pieces ‘fall into the right place’ and you will finish the level.
Or you can develop strategies, finish the Candy Crush game and do something better with your spare time.
FIND THE TOOLS AND USE THEM TO GET UNSTUCK
There are amazing tools available to us: books, prayers, stories of saints, music and art. We only need to be open to look for them even in unexpected, unusual places. When we do, the patterns of our lives will shift just enough to produce a different picture. And we will find ourselves no longer stuck.
And yes, God has a sense of humor and He can use even a Candy Crush game to get through to our stubborn minds (and hearts)!
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