You've got to get yourself together

You've got stuck in a moment

And now you can't get out of it

          - U2


At times we all find ourselves temporarily detained by circumstances that are seemingly impossible to overcome. The feeling of being ‘stuck’ or flummoxed can be exhausting and frustratingly annoying to say the least. The anxiety that appears in these times fashions an array of irrational responses that can confuse our perspective and distort any pragmatic attempts at an agreeable outcome. Anxiety can cause a form of catastrophizing where we become so internally disorientated and externally phrenetic that we then make the mistake of trying to process the situation on our own believing that we have the necessary wisdom needed to dig our way out of the hole we find ourselves in.

‘You’ve got to get yourself together...'

When I first read this line I immediately assumed that it was telling me to ‘harden up’ or ‘sort my sh** out’, a kind of build a bridge and get over it mantra of sorts. A more recent and contemplative reading suggests that I needed to 'get myself together' with an-other who could offer me some alternative interpretation, enabling me to find resolve in the collective heart of  wisdom. Wisdom often comes from those who have walked this way before and made it through, passing their insight on to others who are experiencing the same predicament.

Our individualised social conscience has been seared by a deeply privatised and polarised cultural understanding of community. Our addiction to self-reliance has exacerbated our skepticism and trust in our fellow man/woman. When we do consider the option of  help from others and come to the collective with an open heart willing to learn and humbly grow with others, we must be patient and not expect a quick fix prescription. Our user un-friendly impatience has ratcheted up our sense of entitlement, which demands that others stop and attend to our needs with absolute priority, further enflaming our self-centredness.

We all get stuck sometimes, not just because life is bad or there is some kind of malevolent force at work trying to destroy us, but often because we have become isolated from the help that we need. That isolation can blind our eyes to the help that is all around us in all of its various permutations. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending to our initial response to the  cliche greeting of ‘how are you’  by not deflecting with a disingenuous and benign generalisation like OK or fine.

Learning to let others in is an exercise in trust, something that doesn't come easily for many of us. The so-called advancement of human consciousness has never managed to mature us beyond our base default of mistrust and suspicion. The malady of our human condition can only be resolved as we willingly work together in a concerted effort of hopeful outcome. Hope suggests that we can become unstuck, which evokes a renewed desire to find a solution or new way of looking at life. We are surrounded by a miriad of possibilities that are awaiting our discovery. Don’t give up on a different outcome, even if it the change you require is slow in appearing. 

The U2 song finishes with the refrain 'It's just a moment, this time will pass’, a reminder that it’s just a moment, a very small part of a greater whole. Moments have a very short life span, and while they can temporarily cripple our momentum they are ultimately subject to an eternal narrative that overshadows our life.

So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community…..