Sunday, April 30, 2006

Knotted Shoelaces

she said:

Here is to untangling. Here is to making different choices. Here is to forgiving ourselves when we forget to do the work or simply don't know how to do it differently.

And those words reverberate through my soul. Untangling. Oh god, how I need to untangle. I've been so wrapped up, thought upon thought, always in motion, going, going, going, and when my body drops into sickness because it's exhausted from constant commotion, I pop a couple of Vitamin C's and continue to go some more.

Ever get a knot in your shoelaces when you were in a hurry to be somewhere? You tug and you struggle and you fight and you get very very frustrated. You might huff angrily. You might give up. You might throw that shoe against the wall in a fit of pique, choosing instead something that slips on.... but the simple fact is that the next time you want to wear those shoes (and you'll probably be in a hurry then TOO), they will still have that damn knot in them. And they will continue to have that knot, until you slow down long enough to untangle it.

I"ve had a knot in my shoelaces (and a twist in my knickers) since... well.. probably 2004. When I walked away from a partner, when I attempted to go back to school, when I sold my soul to the evil Mouse theatre people. And even though I see it, this mad obsessive urge to run full tilt, and I get the costs of those actions..... I still keep going. I'm running as if my life depended on it. And the irony is, I seem to be running FROM my life.

If the first step to healing the problem is really ADMITTING the problem, then let me be here to say.... I have a problem. I can't slow down. I'm ... I don't know... afraid. If I look really closely, the disappointment, the resignation, the anger, the lack of hope.... it will swallow me. No... not swallow. Consume, with a violent gnashing of teeth.

So I keep going, keep running. Can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man, in the best sprinting shoes Adidas or Nike can make. You know the ones, with the velcro strapps.... so i don't have to slow down and unknot those damn laces.

But in my pocket, there's a tiny piece of paper, which my fingers fiddle with, like the smooth surfaces of an over-used worry stone. And on that paper are the magic words.... "Here is to untangling. Here is to making different choices."


Josephine said...

Once, I was in a terrible place. I had a friend who I very much admired and confided in. I asked him why I was so unhappy, afterall, I'm a good person, right?

And his answer was hard to swallow, but it made me see what I had to do.

"You're unhappy because of the choices and decisions you have made."

He was a good friend.

Wishing you a peaceful day, Josephine

Jennifer (she said) said...

i'm glad you can see what is happening. that is a step toward something different. i am just beginning to trust, because i've seen it happen, that when i make choices that aren't typical for me but that are healthy, or even when i make a choice that hurts me & then recognize that, something shifts. it's so slight, everything i'm doing right now feels so small and soft and fragile. but right.

like you, i rush around. i go too fast. i get myself into a knot. it's important to recognize the knot, and then do something different.

just carrying the piece of paper around is something different.

just recognizing what isn't working is something different.

as long as there is a little something different everyday - maybe even more than one 'something differents', you're heading for new territory.

here is to the other road. i am waving to you from mine :-)


Adri said...

You know how when you untangle a lace by tugging little by little, a push here, a pull there, a shimmy and a patient tug after tug until it loosens? And then finally it all relaxes and is so much easier to untangle all the way?

That's how it goes... one step after baby step... one tug in a different direction, one push for a better habit formed... then one day you loosen and it's easier to keep those good behaviors and habits because you've baby-stepped your way out of the problem.

The Dung Beetle said...

I hope you find the peace we all deserve.