I hate ruts. Ruts are common, unimaginative, and oh, so boring. I know because I’ve spent time in them. Actually, I even took up emotional residence in a couple. To make them more comfortable, I even decorated them. I adorned the walls with excuses: “I can’t,” “I tried,” and “I don’t wanna.” Those are just a few of the plagues, I mean plaques, I hung in my ruts.Patsy Clairmont
How many of us always avoid falling into ruts and staying in them for longer than we really want to? I suppose that ruts aren’t bad in and of themselves–and some probably can be rather helpful–but when we get comfortable in them and let them define us and our lives, there most certainly is a problem. Ruts can keep us from expanding, from reaching out and seeing and doing new things.
On a roadway, ruts are caused by the constant passage of wheels–many wheels from many vehicles all following the same path. After a while, all of the wheels cause indentations in the ground, and as time goes on they get deeper and deeper. Eventually, any vehicle that comes down the road must follow the ruts, for it’s almost impossible for the wheels to escape them once they’re in them. Everyone has to follow the exact same path. And every new vehicle that passes just makes the ruts even deeper.
When we get into our personal ruts, we follow the same patterns of behavior every single time. For some people, it’s something like “Come home, eat, sit in front of the TV for a few hours, go to bed.” Someone who teaches may follow the same template for class plans every day for years. In relationships, we may fall into the habit of doing the same things every time we get together. Ruts don’t allow for newness or exploration–their very nature keeps us stuck on the same path that we’ve always been on.
They are fairly easy to get out of. First of all, of course, we have to recognize the rut that we’re in, and then quite simply, we have to decide to make a change. That particular decision can end up being one of the most important ones that we make for ourselves, as we can open up whole new worlds for ourselves, just by deciding to do so.
Questions to ponder:
1. What kinds of ruts have you been in? Are you in now?
2. Why might we tend to feel comfortable in ruts and want to stay in them?
3. How do we get into ruts in the first place?
For further thought:
The hardest thing to believe when you’re young is that people will fight to stay in a rut, but not to get out of one.
Credits: Living Life Fully