…like a cracked record

If you’re old enough to remember vinyl records – or hip enough to be part of the revival – then you know the origins of the phrase “stuck like a cracked record.“

The disc might actually be cracked, or more likely scratched at a particular point. Or has just attracted stubborn dust. The effect is the same. The needle can’t continue along the groove and jumps back. Repeating the single circuit over and over again.

Sometimes I feel like that. All my endeavours to keep the story moving, breathing and growing are getting stuck. I keep repeating the same partial story over and over again. Triggered by an emotion that prevents me from moving on.

If the record is fatally flawed – physically cracked – then simply shifting to the next track won’t resolve this. You can never listen to the whole disc again.

Alternatively, the piece of debris can be removed and the track will play well. But you have to lift the needle, stop the player and get rid of the offending muck. You can’t do it up close when the disc is still revolving.

Or if it’s partially scratched, then moving the needle to the next track might enable you to finish the side. Unless the scratch is evidence of more extensive damage. However, you will never be able to play that side of the disc through again without careful attention to the damaged part, manually making the shift to the next groove.

So which is it? What’s the stuckness in our stories?

If we are listening well, rather than just getting angry, we might hear the subtle shift in ourselves from ‘What if…’ to ‘If only….’ That’s a good clue to suggest the needle is stuck in a repeating groove.

Recognising it for what it is – a shift into stuckness – helps us to face the issues it raises. And make choices about what we can do – with honesty:

Just don’t stay stuck.