Log Jam

When a system is at equilibrium, the only way for it to get moving is for something to change. That force can be internal or external, but if it doesn’t act then things will remain exactly as they are. That may be a good thing when you have a dam and the force of the water pressing against it is met with an equal force exerted by the dam, but there are some situations where things can come to an undesired equilibrium over time.

Back when loggers would float timber down a river to the mill, around bends in the river some logs would get caught. Over time, more and more logs would collect, and if nothing was done to keep them moving, eventually they would block up the entire river. In extreme circumstances, the only way to get things moving again was to set off an explosion. Some of the lumber would be sacrificed, but in doing so, it allowed things to start moving again.

Just like those logs can accumulate over time and jam up the river, things that happen in life can add up, and over time, cause someone to get stuck. While anyone can see a river being backed up, when it comes to being at a state of unwanted inertia in our own lives, it’s not always easy for other people to see. While the supervisor of the logging crew can tell his team that there’s a problem and how to solve it, when you’re stuck, it’s not always that easy.

Initially, you may not even know what the problem is, just that something isn’t quite right. Over time, it becomes clearer and identifying the problem, not just the symptom becomes easier. The trouble arises when, unlike that supervisor who had a team to call on to clear up the blockage, you don’t have a trusted group to rely on. You may not even have one person you can reach out to for support. Turning inward only gets you so far.

Everyone needs a support system to help them through problems that arise. Some are lucky enough to have a more robust group of confidants than others. What do you do when one of your biggest problems is that the very support network you need is lacking? Genuine caring relationships don’t come out of thin air.

Even the most independent of individuals I’ve seen who pride themselves on being a self-starter have at their base, a group of people supporting them. They’re often the very same people who will, with a smug disposition remark, “You have to love yourself first before anyone else can love you.” I understand their point, but I also don’t think they have a valid argument, because while they may say that, they already have others who love them.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m stuck. I’m to a point where my river is jammed up and while I believe I’ve identified the problem, I’m not sure how to get things moving again. I know I can’t do it on my own, but unlike that logging supervisor, I don’t have a team to help clear up the jam.

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