Willie-Niverred? 6 Steps to Snap out of Stuck

Written by on July 19, 2016

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Do you ever have one of those weeks when you’re stuck emotionally? You feel like your mental energies are drained and you’re shouldering a huge boulder uphill?

Last week was like that for me. Tim and I were at odds. We couldn’t see eye-to-eye on some basic premises about our spending. In tears, I was stuck—that is, downright willie-niverred. (Okay, so I made up that word!)

When I’m angry with people, I’m usually engaging in unhealthy self-talk. My self-esteem is low and I get angry with myself for even the smallest thing.

Here are 6 steps I took to strategize last week’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very-willie-niverred battle:

  1. Each morningI wrote out 3 things I was grateful for.  I was thankful for a $25 Amazon gift card from my friend Brian. I connected with a new friend-intercessor, Trevor, from England. My friend Vicki, who I hadn’t seen in months, tackled me with an enormous hug when she greeted me. Gratitude shifts our sense of lack to one of substance and abundance. 
  2. I memorized Scripture. I’m committing Romans 12 to memory. I meditate on it when I wait at a red light, do laundry, and drift off to sleep. “The fight doesn’t change the Word of God. The Word of God changes the fight.” (Dr. James Brewton) When I focus on Scripture, it washes over my little gray cells. Stinkin’ thinkin’ gets drowned out by the voice of Scripture. We interact with God’s Word. We talk to it. It talks to us.
  3. I got help. I had a picnic with my friend Stacie at a park. I told her what was going on. She validated my emotions and listened without judging. I looked up my counselor, Nadine Dody, who reassured me that conflicts over finances were common and gave me concrete steps. Getting help allows us to feel less isolated. Putting our conflicts into words and sorting them out allows us to create an environment of safety that we need to govern our own thoughts.
  4. Nadine recommended I share with Tim an activity from the Gottman Institute called Dreams Within Conflict. We took turns in two separate sessions asking detailed questions about one another’s dreams. One of us was the dream speaker and the other was the dream catcher, listening without judging. Dreaming together without derailing or interrupting gives you and me  a chance to slow down. When we forgive others and speak to them kindly, we can more readily talk to ourselves with self-acceptance. (By the way, I just signed up for the Gottman Institute blog –  practical tips on relationships.)
  5. I got extra sleep. Exhaustion saps my mental energy. I move too early and too easily into offense. Restorative chemicals found in deep sleep give us a chance to see things with a calm heart and a sense of humor. Rest gives us a chance to reframe our situations with physical and mental peace.
  6. I resolved to slow down. I pushed back a self-imposed deadline for a round of edits on my book on self-forgiveness. I’d rather complete this part of the project slower, with my marriage and sanity intact, than to overpower Tim with my “win.” What kind of a win is that? We asked and extended forgiveness.  When we lower the bar with our accomplishments in order to make time for stronger relationships, we set the pace for a healthier mindset. And when we forgive others, we can walk forward confidently accepting ourselves, just as God intended.

Friend, what practical steps do you take when you get willie-niverred?


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  1. Lindy Swanson   On   July 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I ask, “What does this mean? What do I need to do? What is God trying to teach me about who He is? Who does God want to be to me in this situation? What aspect of who He is does He want to manifest through me to others? How does God want to use this to perfect His image within me?

    • Lynn Hare   On   July 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Wow, Lindy! How powerful. I think we all need upgrades in our questions like that. I especially like your question, “What aspect of who He is does He want to manifest through me to others?”

  2. Miriam   On   July 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Great tips, Lynn. I love the one about scripture speaking to us. SO true. The Lord used it to free me of my fear of flying. Now, I admit I don’t relish turbulence, but I don’t hit auto-panic, either. I love the new, clean look of this website. Well done!! 🙂

    • Lynn Hare   On   July 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you, Miriam. I’m excited that you lost your fear of flying. Thanks for the kind words about my website. To infinity and beyond!

  3. Kathy   On   July 20, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Very helpful tips, Lynn. Thanking God for all my blessings and a long walk does wonders for me. Many blessings!

  4. Kathy Davis   On   July 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I like to study scriptures just before getting into bed. I feel like a cleansing happens in my mind as I drift off to sleep, and somehow things go better the next day. I call it my defrag time. Thanks, Lynn!

    • Lynn Hare   On   July 22, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Kathy, I’ve been studying the importance of feeding the subconscious mind important thoughts, especially as we go to bed. How marvelous to fill your little gray cells and your spirit with the Word of God as you drift off to sleep. Way to go!

  5. Susan   On   July 31, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble”/ Psalm 46:1 Bottom line, As I get willie-niverred I am aiming to turn my thoughts to Him for help rather than my typical turning to myself and “powering up” on my own.

    • Lynn Hare   On   August 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Susan, I love that psalm! When I struggle the most, I get “powered up” too quickly, too. I especially find that rest recharges me so I can turn my fears and doubts around. I “livestream” the Holy Spirit so much better when I enter into HIS strength.

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