Menu Close

Stuck Places

“Often we don’t move forward past our stuck places – 
not because we don’t want to – 
but because we don’t know how.”
     ~  Amanda Owen.

‘I don’t know how.   Ignorance.  And that’s okay.

Decades ago, I used to think that this word meant “stupid.”  The manner in which it was used by my peers ~ and even elders ~ sent the message that the ‘intended one’ was slow-witted, dumb, or obtuse. Interestingly, the definition for Ignorance is: having a lack of knowledge or information. Huh. Simple as that.

At every point in life, people have a lack of knowledge or information. Hellllooo !  That’s ultimately what the purpose of education is ~ formal or informal in nature. Not knowing how to, and then …  learning how to: 

  • tie a shoe. 
  • drive a car. 
  • calculate the angle of an hypotenuse. 
  • play patty-cakes
  • hammer a nail
  • do a load of laundry
  • split an atom

Until I’m taught ~ I am living in ignorance. Until others are willing to teach ~ I live in ignorance.

Interestingly as well ~ if I have attained a certain age ~ there tends to be a societal assumption that I “should” already know how to do something. Especially something ‘age appropriate.’  Yet ~ what if I was never taught? What if someone had no idea I was interested in fill-in-the-blank? Or wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) know how to do something because I was a ‘girl’ or I was a ‘boy.’  What then?  Well, too too often folks remains stuck. Fear. Intimidation. Social pressures. Lack of support.

Also ~ depending on the topic of the ‘stuckness,’ {ssshhhhssssh…. we can’t talk about that!} folks may be too confused or embarrassed. They want to get out of the stuck place, yet simply don’t know how to do it. Seeking outside guidance ~ finding an instruction manual ~ being confused by the explanations or definitions. {‘Just grab the hammer, hit the nail, use the level to see if the picture frame is balanced…. that’s all you have to do.’  But…. but…. I’ve never used a hammer. And which size hammer? What size nail? What’s a level? Help!}  
Feeling even more stuck. 

Watching YouTubes and Googling. Searching for answers and a way out. Hoping like crazy that the explanation is explained in a way where one can ‘get it.’ Help, indeed !

Stop.  Stand still.  Breathe.


Embrace the state of ignorance and start from there. It all goes back to baby steps. A form of infancy. Tabula rasa. Being given ~ or giving Self ~ permission to be a neophyte.  Finding and joining a topic-specific support group. {Yea firefox or google!} Taking an elementary-level intro class. {Yea those wonderful folks who work down the road at the local public elementary school !!}  Asking others who have experienced the same thing (only if they appear to be moving forward in a direction that you wish to go) who they learned from, who they consulted, who were their teachers. Making that contact.

Ask questions. Say “I don’t know ~ yet I want to learn how. Please teach me.”  Saying “I don’t understand. Please explain again.”  Saying “Is this what you mean?”  Saying “Can you break that down for me?”  Saying “Ooohhhhh. Now I get it. How’s this?”

One day, much sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself ‘unstucking.’  You’ll know how now.  Not necessarily with grace and panache. Maybe having tripped a dozen times, hit the thumb with the hammer as it were, stepped on toes – or shoe laces, yet definitely leaving the gluey stuckness behind. Further and further behind.

Ignorance ~ and a way out.  (Or stubbornness, embarrassment, resistance … and continued stuckness.)  You choose.