Chaplain (Capt.) C. W. Olson III
2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
25th Infantry Division
Have you ever lost your cellphone? You begin checking your pockets and rechecking your pockets as if maybe you missed it on the first check.
The search ensues and the panic sets in. Checking every drawer, looking behind every pillow, destroying almost every room in hopes of finding the lost cellphone. But nothing helps. The phone is lost.
Although it’s only a cell phone, we get pretty attached to our phones. You may even go through what Elizabeth Kubler Ross calls the five stages of grief.
First stage is denial. “It can’t be lost. It’s got to be around here somewhere. I will find it.”
The second stage is anger. “Are you kidding me! I paid $700 for this phone! I just want to break something, aghhh!”
The third stage is depression. “This phone had all of my pictures. I really liked this phone, this sucks.”
The fourth stage is bargaining. “I should never have taken my phone to the beach. Maybe if I just stayed home, yesterday, I would never have lost my phone. If I don’t get a new phone, maybe my old phone will just show up.”
The final stage of grief is acceptance. “It’s lost. My phone is lost forever. I guess I need to buy a new one.”
Okay, I know it’s just a phone, but with any loss that is experienced, there is grief. Sometimes the grief can lead to despair and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. With the loss of hope comes the unsettling feeling of depression or a sense of being stuck.
Everybody gets stuck sometimes. Maybe you feel stuck at your workplace, or maybe in your marriage, your health, or school, friendships, the past, or even the present.
So how do we get unstuck? The key is to first look at where the feeling of being stuck is coming from. Often, it is a feeling of grief associated with some kind loss. A loss of mobility or health. A loss of promotion or career. A loss of a relationship or emotional stability.
Maybe it is a loss of time because of high operational tempo. The loss has led to grief, and when we can’t move through the grief, we get stuck.
Stuck in hopelessness. We lose hope.
So, the second step to getting unstuck is to find hope. Hope is healing. Hope brings calm in the midst of a storm. Hope brings reconciliation to a broken relationship. Hope is feeling the pain of loss, but remembering joy.
In a letter written to a community in Corinth around 55 A.D., we find words to help find hope. The author of the letter wrote, “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away; yet, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
May you find strength for today and hope for tomorrow, and may this hope spread to your family, your community and the world around you.
(Editor’s note: Olson is the 2-6th Cav. chaplain.)