We have a pretty decent understanding of physical paralysis. An injury occurs, which effectively shuts the body down in a given location.
What happens when our paralysis is of the less tangible variety? A paralysis of the soul? Not necessarily having physical repercussions, soul paralysis can be harder to diagnosis, and even more difficult to treat.
This is how writer's block can feel. This type of paralysis can cause damage in any walk, at any time. Soul paralysis can manifest as an inability to move forward, or simply even start. Whether it be in our writing, or in some other aspect of our life, soul paralysis can be debilitating if left untreated. Taking that next step, making that difficult decision, writing the next chapter, the next sentence, the next word. All can perish if we don't make the effort to work through the paralysis.
One simple (perhaps overly simple) solution to this inability to move forward: A prayer, a nap, an abrupt awakening and time for reflection. In that order.
The prayer: Redeem me, Lord. Refresh my soul. Help me to heal. Help me break the chains that are keeping me stuck in this moment, unable to move forward. Help me understand what I need to do.
The nap: 20 minute power nap, enforceable with an alarm. (Note: don't keep the alarm too close, or you may be tempted to shut it off and continue drowsing).
The abrupt awakening: Facilitated by the alarm, it's always good to get in the habit of not wanting to be "caught napping". 20 minutes to refresh, recharge and refocus in the middle of your writing time, then back at it immediately!
The reflection: This is the most important component to defeating paralysis. Immediately upon awakening, go directly to your computer or notebook, and start writing everything that comes to mind. Every word, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, has the power to break the chains and transform paralysis into momentum.
During a recent personal paralysis situation, the words "will not fail you" were reverberating in my head and heart upon awakening. I went to my computer and typed "will not fail you" into www.biblegateway.com. The result? Encouragement, strength and an answer to my pre-nap prayer:
David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
1 Chronicles 28:20 (NIV)
Here I was, awakened with a new vision, a refreshed soul and an opportunity to regain my footing on the writer's path. In order to reverse soul paralysis, live fully and write well, I needed to:
Do the work
Do not be afraid
Do not be discouraged
It also occurred that, the more I spend time in the Word, the easier it is to write my own words.
What a great reminder! Buckling down to tap away at a keyboard then becomes more of a lifeline, and less a sinking feeling. It becomes a connection with the One who made me, the One who knows my heart better than anyone. And with those simple, but powerful steps, paralysis was defeated, passion restored, and I set foot down the path once again.
God has a way of helping us break through our paralysis. We only need to ask for help, and be open to receiving it when it comes.
Karma Pratt is a faith-driven mom of twins, a communicator, a writer, and an encourager from way back. She loves words, art, creativity, God, and people, although not necessarily in that order. A recovering food addict and binge eater, she writes in an attempt to express how her life has changed as a result of the profound healing of Jesus. She gives thanks for daily doses of grace that fill her to overflowing. You can find her online atredraincoatcreations.com