Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

There Must Be a Better Way

There must be a better way. You’ve heard this and probably said it yourself in many different contexts. This thought is the genesis and the impetus for discoveries, inventions, and growth, for individuals and for communities and nations.

It usually occurs to us when we are at the nadir of our efforts, energy, ideas. We are at an impasse, frustrated and flummoxed. We remember the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over, thinking we will get a different result, and we recognize ourselves.

So we stop, momentarily empty.

That pause is what opens the door of the room that we have trapped ourselves in. That emptiness is what allows light to flood into the darkness that has imprisoned us. And into that light, the thought steps across the threshold: There must be a better way.

And in that moment, in our fatigue and despair, the spark of hope is ignited, and we are willing, if only for that moment, to consider that that thought might be true. If we can find the courage to hold onto that thought, we might tentatively step out of that room and look around us at the expanse of beautiful possibilities stretching before us, beautiful but unknown.

We might look back over our shoulder at the room we have just left. It is familiar and perhaps less scary than stepping forward into a place we do not know. Most of us will retreat back into our patterns several times, many times, countless times, before we are ready, really ready to seek that better way, before the fear of the unknown is less scary than the pain of going back.

And then, my friend, miracles happen. My own life is proof of that.

It all starts with that thought: There must be a better way.

Oh, there is. There is.

Believe it.

As we encounter those patterns that keep us trapped, in our own lives and in our communities and nations, when we are at our wits’ end, fresh out of ideas, realizing that what we keep trying is not working and never will…


take a deep breath,

and tell yourself there is a better way.

Then get ready for miracles.

12 thoughts on “There Must Be a Better Way”

  1. You know, I think we all get to that point on the low end of things. But I think we don't grasp well the concept of a better way. A lyric from Counting Crows shows what I mean:

    "This isn't love
    Cause if you don't wanna to talk about it
    Then it isn't love
    And I guess, I'm gonna have to live without

    But I'm sure there's something in a shade of gray
    Or something' in between
    And I can always change my name
    If that's what you mean…"

    But it ISN'T what she means, and he doesn't get it. He's looking "in-between" for something that is "outside"…

    And in many things, so am I.

  2. Good point, CW. I know in my own life it took me a long time to wake up to the idea that there might be another way, much less a better way. But now that I've embraced the idea, when I find myself getting trapped, I can more quickly turn my attention to finding the "better way." When I see people close to me and in my community having a hard time, I want to reach out and let them know that there is a better way. And once found, it is never really lost again.

  3. You really made me think here, Galen, that our "comfort zones" may not be the most comfortable places after all. There is always a better way – yes, it may be a frightening (at first) and lonely path to take, but if we stay the course, trusting in God for His miracles, then the best will and does happen.

  4. That's a good observation, Martha, about our comfort zones. Fear can keep us trapped in our patterns, and also keep us from looking for a better way. For example, I look at some of the patterns that seem so entrenched in our politics. (I am NOT trying to make this a political discussion about who's right.) Just looking at the pattern itself, I see that much of the negativity comes from fear. At the same time, even when people want to find a way out of the impasse, they are afraid of stepping outside of the dynamic to look for a better way. You hit on the key–trust. A leap of faith is not just an cliche metaphor. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Hi Galen,
    What you described is what I think of as "creative discontent," a signal to oneself, perhaps from the soul, that it's time to change. Once recognized as such (and the earlier the better), then we are ready to find ways to move forward.

  6. What a great term–creative discontent. I have not heard of that before, but I like the sense of opportunity and potential that comes from the discontent. Thank you for bringing this term to my attention!

  7. You reminded me of how I see the roadblocks in life. When I am doing a puzzle, say a hard sudoku, I often have to close the book and walk away or frustration sets in because I cannot see the problem let alone the solution.

    Inevitably, I will come back to the problem with new eyes and hope as it were. The solution or even a small part of the solution will be there. I was just not looking for the right connections. I may need to do this several time but, in the end, it is good.

    Life is very like that I think don't you?

    Be well.


  8. That is so true, Barb. I've started doing puzzles while I'm up at the cabin. Sometimes I am stuck, but if I walk away and come back to it, suddenly pieces fit! Great metaphor for bigger life issues.

  9. Wow, thanks for your inspiration on this one. I am right now tossing around the thoughts that there must be a better way. I do need to step forth and do what I need to do to make the miracle happen.
    Blessing and hugs for you dear friend!

  10. To me, this phrase helps us step out of the way we have been thinking about something and look at things afresh. Like thinking outside the box! Wishing miracles for you today, my friend.

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