How to Move Forward in Life When you Feel Stuck
Learning how to move forward in life when you feel stuck can at times feel overwhelming. Most of us don’t learn how to stop holding onto the past. Something happened to us early in our lives that has us stuck, and we can’t move forward out of anger, fear, confusion, sadness or maybe bitterness.
Or perhaps something happened to a family member in the past and we inherited family trauma. A high percentage of the time we have good justifications for feeling the way we do—especially if we’re dealing with ancestral pain.
But here’s the one simple question to ask yourself about all this: “Am I really enjoying holding onto the past? Does it feel good being stuck?”
Chances are the answer is “No.” But you might feel safe in the misery because being miserable has become so familiar. And you might feel safe because you feel like you are fitting in by repeating family patterns. But none of it feels good.
Ghosts of Christmas past
Remember Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the miserable miser Ebenezer Scrooge? He and his family lost all their wealth in the Napoleonic Wars and he spent his lifetime regaining that lost wealth. But did he have to reject all happiness, warmth and generosity while doing so?
It took a near death experience for dear old Scrooge to realize how much life he was missing out on by carefully nursing his bitter miserliness. What is it going to take for you to stop holding onto things from the past and transform your own wounds? What is it costing you?
That person who wronged you is probably getting on just fine with their life. If you’re waiting for them to open their eyes and realize what they did to you, feel sorry about it, and apologize, you may wind up severely disappointed and embittered. You might waste many many beautiful moments and beautiful days and stewed and been angry over what is basically spilt milk—history—the past—done and over done.
It's up to you to break generational trauma
If you find yourself holding onto the past and old hurts, it’s truly worth checking to see where that originated and what unresolved pattern is waiting to be seen. Once you can see it and give it a place, you no longer need to be stuck. Maybe something happened to an ancestor that was so offensive or traumatic that it created an epigenetic imprint on your family system.
Perhaps somebody cheated your great-grandfather out of the family farm and ever since then the whole family has been suspicious, rejecting everyone who offers assistance and everything that looks like a good deal when it comes along. Maybe there are disputes over land and nobody knows why. Maybe the inherited family trauma has passed down to you and you pinch every penny until it screams, never accepting help from anyone and wonder why.
Maybe that Scrooge pattern is looking for you to finally put down the ancestral pain and allow the happiness, finances, and land ownership to build and flow again. I remember a client of mine who came in near the holidays a few years ago, complaining about “stupid Christmas” and how much he hated it. How everyone in his family just went through the motions, exchanging awful gifts and eating a dreadful Christmas meal before they all, duty done, went their separate ways.
“Pain travels through family lines,” I said. “It’s up to you to break generational trauma. You actually can choose to enjoy Christmas..”
He frowned and said, “That isn’t allowed in my family.”
“Why not?” I asked.
He had no idea, but after talking with his father he reported that his great-grandmother had died on Christmas Eve. The family had gone through the motions to give the kids a decent Christmas that year. But after that nobody ever enjoyed Christmas again.
Recognizing the pattern of pain and duty that had been passed down through his family system, he saw that he could, indeed, break the generational cycles and change the situation. He dove into Christmas preparations with determination and no small amount of glee. “It was the best Christmas ever!” he declared with a grin at our next meeting. “I did it! Three generations of misery were finally put to rest with a celebration for the ages. I’m already making plans for next year!”
Healing ancestral trauma
We all carry emotional wounds and scars that have traveled through our family line, passed down generation to generation. The thing is, each one of us has a choice. Like Scrooge and like my client, we all have the ability to search out and identify ancestral pain patterns and then consciously move beyond them.
If you truly want to make a difference in the world, it begins with creating your own happiness. And that begins with understanding what lives in your family system and unleashing its hidden potential. When you are willing to look, things are able to change. You are the one your family system has been waiting for.
May all your dreams come true this season, may your hearts truly be merry and bright. And may you finally realize that for that to happen, you must be willing to look, and then shift. Above all, I wish you good shift this holiday season and happy adventuring in the coming new year!
To find out how to move from stuck to happy and thriving, join me at one of my events in 2024. Our mission is to make the unconscious conscious and the invisible visible, so that you can fulfill your destiny—a happy one!