I feel like it's been a long time since I actually sat down to write. It is partly caused by the busyness of life, and partly due to blankness of mind. I have found that blankness of mind has two main causes: too busy and too concerned.
Sometimes my brain is so full of abbreviated to do lists that putting together a full sentence--little less a reasonable paragraph--feels overwhelming. Lately, I've been drowning in abbreviated to do lists. While I am concerned with getting those things done, it is more. I am concerned about saying something worth my readers' time, and I'm concerned about saying it with excellence.
Then I start to think.
I work through first lines, structure, a real meaning, style of presentation, and a memorable ending. It doesn't take very long for everything to get muddled in my brain, and then I start to try to unravel it like a bad knot only to find that the more I work on it, the more it tangles. Finally, having developed an ugly headache and feeling more lost than ever, I walk away.
Today, though, I'm hoping to unravel the knot a bit at a time...and maybe, somehow, it'll help someone else with their knots, too.
When I crocheted a lot, my yarn would sometimes get into knots, and some were worth trying to figure out. Sometimes it was just a matter of figuring out some caught loops, identifying a snag here or there, and straightening the string out. Then I was back on track with my project.
Life isn't so different.
Sometimes I end up going around in loops due to a snag. My priorities are sometimes wrong. I'm not always as disciplined as I need to be. Sometimes I am reluctant to try something new because the old way is too comfortable. In cases like that, I need to identify the loops where I am stuck, undo the snags, and move on to the way things work.
Sometimes the knots simply became too tangled to fix. There was simply too much to figure out and sort through. Sometimes I simply had to cut the knot out, tie the ends, and move on. Yes, there was a bump sometimes, but in the end, I created what I wanted and was happy with the result.
Life works that way, too.
Sometimes some thing happens that I can't work out. There have been things that hurt more than I could sort through. Events happened that couldn't be undone. Relationships went in directions that still make no sense. Untangling the knot was impossible. I couldn't undo a person's actions, words said, or unwanted events. And frankly, no matter how much I rolled them over, talked about them, or put them in writing, they were still crazy and "making it better" was impossible.
While I do not believe denial is an answer, I also do not believe the knotted areas of life have to be salvaged and become a significant part of the larger project. For instance, the young man who crushed my feelings by telling me he had started dating someone else because "I forgot I was dating you" never apologized. He never had an explanation. He just shrugged and walked away.
That was a pretty big knot, and no matter what I did I couldn't undo it. Ultimately, I had two choices. I could either live in the pain and the idea that I am so insignificant that I could be forgotten despite wearing some one's expensive ring, or I could simply acknowledge broken people do broken things, and the situation was more about his heart than my identity. I am not insignificant. I am not easily forgotten. I am not a throw-away person. And, there are people who think that young man was totally wrong. There are people who believe I am a gift, an answer to prayer, and an amazing person. I choose to keep them. They are part of my bigger picture, the bigger project that is me.
Yes, there is a bump--an imperfection--where that young man's hurtful actions messed up my thinking. It's a bump that reminds me others have been told they are invaluable and dispensable, and I can be the one to help undo their knot. I can be the one who tells them they are a gift, an answer to prayer, and an amazing person. I can be part of the bigger picture of who they truly are.
Maybe in talking about my knots--the ones that did not determine the outcome of who I am or what I do--I enable others to work through their knots, unravel what needs to be unravelled, and cut out what doesn't need to be there. Maybe by dealing with my knots people can get untangled and become the person God wants them to be, not the person someone else says they are or the victim circumstances try to make them. And maybe--hopefully--they can look at the big picture--the big project God is doing in and with their lives--and see something beautiful and amazing.