Do you ever get the sense that you’re just living the same day over and over again!? Bill Murray’s movie classic, “Groundhog Day”, surely brings the point home. In that film, Bill’s character relives Groundhog Day (February 2nd) in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, over and over. His self-centered weatherman character, Phil Connors, gradually learns the only way to get “unstuck” is to be less stuck on himself! Through actions focused on others and his own personal growth, the shallow, hedonistic, desperate prisoner of his own life becomes a more whole person – and even “gets the girl”, Rita (played by Andie MacDowell). Check it out, sometime, if you haven’t seen it. A culture classic from 1993!
I have heard it said that, “A rut is nothing but a grave with both ends knocked out!” How true! Once we get into a pattern of thought or actions that lead nowhere the life gets sucked right out of us! Hope, anticipation, new experiences, adventure, new relationships – these, and more, are squelched before they can even get started! I really don’t like “ruts”, but you can’t altogether avoid them! Sometimes, a rut has to happen before the need for change can be realized and welcomed.
One way to deal with a rut is to reach out for help: Isolation and self-determination lead to a lonely frustration. Keeping the rut to myself is a sure way of remaining stuck (Yes, it is humbling to even admit that I am in a rut!). When I, finally, open the situation to the light of day by sharing it with a trusted and able friend or counselor, my truth telling begins to make the rut a teacher, instead of a grave.
Openness, conversation, prayer, encouragement – these are just some of the ways that I find myself breaking free of my own personal “Groundhog Day” experiences. I can’t really think of a rut in my life from which I can become free without connecting to someone and something greater beyond myself. How about you?