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WHEN WE LOSE OUR SPARK

It Can Be Rekindled!


Gail Oliver Cambridge | June 2024


We all have a special quality that defines us. When we recognize and tap into it, there’s a pep in our step as we sing and rock to a groove, knowing that we are unstoppable!

 

We may have experienced this as a young adult, fresh out of college with bright ideas to conquer the world, or later as a professional when we’ve harnessed our skill. Then comes the lull…what happens when we lose our way?

 

There can be myriad reasons for our becoming lost, which might be internal, including being tired and losing our mojo, not reaching ahead as fast as we’d thought we would, no longer being top dog at the job, our dreams not materializing, or our beauty fading—the face that looks back at us in the mirror is unrecognizable…Gen Zs cannot relate!

 

Our setback could be tied to outside factors, such as losing all our funds in a stock market crash, the collapse of our marriage/partnership, a serious illness, or the loss of a job, home, or loved one.

 

When we lose control of what defines us or forget what makes us special, it can be devastating and lead to severe depression. I recall former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst who committed suicide and left a note saying she couldn’t bear the crushing weight of persistent sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness any longer. Then there was Stephen “tWitch” Boss, dancer, actor, and producer, who danced into our lives on the show So You Think You Can Dance. By all accounts, he was an easy-going, optimistic person who led with love and light, but he too committed suicide.

 

I couldn’t believe such individuals who appeared to be so full of life and joy would do such a thing, but there have been many more similar sad stories. Though they maintain successful, productive lives, these people suffer from what experts call high-functioning depression as they live with despair beneath the surface of their outward success. Of course, sorrow and despondency can afflict us all, not just the rich and famous. Depression should never be taken lightly. Any one of us who has this symptom should seek professional help, and sooner rather than later.

 

Perhaps we’re not in a depressed state but are simply feeling lethargic and out of sorts as we recognize that there has been a change in our status quo, and we feel we have lost our sense of self. Rather than being despondent, we ought to rely on our relationship with Christ as an anchor, allowing our faith to guide us through the inner struggle with such tenacity so as not to allow any negativity to take root.

 

We can get back our spark by forcing ourselves to do something outside our comfort zone, such as signing up for a sport or other physical activity, making new friends, or mentally checking to see if we’re blocking our progress with anger or unforgiveness. The key is not to linger in defeat. In the words of the late Bill Walton, basketball player and television sportscaster, “I learn from yesterday, I dream about tomorrow, but I try to make today my masterpiece.”


Losing our mojo can also be a signal that we need to change direction: what drove us before is no longer working so we should look for new interests; a dream deferred is not denied. Or, maybe we just need a timeout. In a previous blog, I wrote about being content despite the stars not aligning where we are at some given point.

 

Let’s not be anxious, but take the time to breathe, meditate, enjoy nature, and find moments of pleasure to bring laughter into our lives—rekindling the embers. We must also remember to be kind to ourselves and others who may be grappling with issues of self.

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