May 25      

Today's quotation:

We imagine that when we are thrown out of our usual ruts all is lost, but it is only then that what is new and good begins.  While there is life there is happiness.  There is much, much before us.

Lev Tolstoy

Today's Meditation:

Oh, how dangerous those ruts are!  How deeply they can harm us; how deceitful their attractiveness!  So many of us like to be in ruts, like to be "comfortable" doing the same things over and over again-- but the human being wasn't made to constantly do the same things.  We stagnate if we get too comfortable, if we cease to take risks and try new things, yet many of us feel that stepping out of the ruts represents a risk that's too dangerous to take, for it may destroy us.

But that's not true.  There are times when ruts are pretty good to have-- providing a safe and steady home for our children comes to mind-- but for the most part, we thrive as human beings when we step out of our safety zones and try new and different things.  We grow when we test our limits, when we don't do the same things today that we've done for the last zillion days.  Whether we're thrown out of our ruts (layoffs, broken relationships, etc.) or step out of them on our own, getting out of a rut allows us to tap into potential and possibility that simply weren't there before we decided to change things up.

Stepping out of a rut represents a challenge, and challenges are what allow us to shine, to prove to ourselves that we are able to overcome obstacles and rise to the occasions that test us and our abilities to persevere and create and be innovative.  It's important that we spend the time necessary to recognize what's a rut and what's truly necessary in our lives, and then to decide what to do when we recognize a rut.  Personally, I don't like them, and I don't like the false sense of comfort that they instill in me.

Take a chance-- step out of those ruts that are keeping you down, or that are forcing you to stay exactly the same as you are, without the chance of growing or developing or becoming stronger or more loving or innovative or creative.  The rut may be comfortable, but comfort is not what human beings were made for, even though sometimes I kind of wish that it were.  The truth is, though, that our best sides shine forth when we're challenged, not when we're doing the same safe things over and over again.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of ruts are you in?  Why are you in them?  How might you leave them behind?

What kinds of harm might we do to ourselves if we allow ourselves to stay in our "safe" ruts?

Why might we feel that all is lost when we're thrown out of a rut?

For further thought:

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

M. Scott Peck

more on ruts



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