I tilted the container to get a better look. Something was hiding in the grey cement-like sludge at the bottom. I had already run my fingers through the thick muck to pull out each piece of glass that had sunk to the bottom of my rock tumbler.

Hoping to get a better look, I added a bit of water and swished it around. Slowly a piece began to emerge in the goo leftover from tumbling a batch of sea glass.

I added more water.  Soon the piece became even more pronounced. I had definitely missed it, nestled down in the muck. As the shape became visible, I was certain that it was a pale white, grey or light blue.

Imagine my amazement when I washed it off… the piece wasn’t white or grey at all, it was instead a brilliant Kelly green! I was shocked!

But isn’t that how it is in life?

When you get pulled in to the muck and mire, you no longer resemble yourself. You no longer resemble who you were created to be. You’re purpose, your impact, and your brilliance become hidden beneath the sludge of life.

A few symptoms that you’ve been pulled in to life’s muck:

  • You hide how you really feel.
  • Your fuse is short.
  • You just don’t feel like yourself.
  • You ignore your gifts and talents.
  • You’re living inconsistent with your values or beliefs.
  • You’ve lost your voice, your smile, or your humor, or all three.

What can you do to get out of the sludge?

  1. Recognize it. Before you need a solution, you need to see there’s a problem. If you could answer ‘yes’ to some of the items in the list above, you’ve already taken the first step and recognized that something needs to shift.
  2. Value yourself enough to seek change. Make getting out of the muck a priority. Search for opportunities to smile, laugh, be grateful, and use your talents. Also look for opportunities to shake off some of the things weighing you down.
  3. Find people in your circle that you can be real with. Life isn’t meant to be lived as a pre-filtered social media-ready snapshot. It’s far messier than that. In life you can’t retake a moment ten different times and only keep the one you like the best. Find a few people you can trust and confide in. It will lift your spirits and you’ll likely find they have similar struggles.
  4. Add margin. Find a way to regain margin. Margin is that ‘blank space’ that lets you come up for air. You wouldn’t read a book with no margin because if the words went all the way to the edge of the page with no space, it would be overwhelming. Find a way to add ‘breathe’ time to your schedule and bring back your margin. The space gives attention and value to the content that matters most.
  5. Pray for discernment and peace. It can be hard to recognize how our patterns, and the people and things around us can weigh on us. Pray for the vision see the situation around you for what it is. Then pray for wisdom to help you move forward.
  6. Get additional resources or help. If you’re feeling stuck in life’s sludge and can’t seem to move forward, it might be time to consult a life coach or counselor to help you navigate to a better place.

The piece from the bottom

The next time you’re feeling stuck or pulled into the trenches of life, remember this piece of glass. It didn’t look like itself and needed to be freed from the muck to reveal its beauty. You’re worth so much more to this world. You’re valuable and have a purpose. If you don’t look like yourself, adjust and show the world who you were created to be!

What do you think, would you have thought the piece was green from the above pictures? How do you recognize when you’re stuck in the muck of life? What do you do to get free? I’d love to hear from you. Why not join the conversation.

Wondering what I’m doing with glass in my rock tumbler? Check out my previous blogs with what I’ve been up to: