– Zen Proverb
She read the quote again. She closed the laptop and walked over to the peely-paint cupboard that held art supplies and construction paper. What color should she pick? She settled on purple. She looked for a marker in the Kerr jar on the kitchen table. She wanted something bold – a marker that would yell. She found a juicy dark blue and purposefully wrote the quote.
She taped the quote next to the others that read: That is not my journey, NMP – not my problem, and No steamrollers!
As she re-read the quotes, she visualized a thick twisted rope. The strands of rope were different colors, twined together to make a rope as thick as her wrist. Each color represented something or someone that she’d allowed to drag her to where she found herself today.
The black represented every one-sided, caustic, demanding, life-sucking relationship she’d ever been in – the narcissists.
The charcoal symbolized her limiting self-talk.
The brown represented her expectations – going as far back as childhood – about what she thought her life would be.
The grey stood for definitions of who she was – assigned to her by others.
The burnt orange represented her lack of self-confidence.
The dark green was every negative, gossip-filled conversation that she hadn’t had the guts to excuse herself from.
She looked back at the quote.
Let go or be dragged.
She wondered where she’d be if she hadn’t allowed that rope to drag her where she is today. She laughed and told herself, “Well, that’s a waste of time. You could spend the rest of the day wondering where you could have gone, or you could pull out a pair of scissors and cut that rope apart.”
The burnt orange was the first to go, followed by the grey and the dark green. The brown was the most fun to cut. She ceremoniously snipped the brown and felt her mood brighten. There would be new doors to open once she locked the door on expectations.
The charcoal would take some effort. She’d have to sharpen the scissors for that one. Limiting self-talk had been her constant companion. With sharper scissors, she began to snip the threads of the charcoal strand.
She snipped – “You’re not good enough.”
She cut – “You’re an inconvenience.”
She removed – “Why aren’t you more like everyone else?”
She saw charcoal threads scattered on the floor at her feet. She noticed that the charcoal strand was tightly connected to the black strand. She kept cutting.
The black strand was the thickest – requiring more than a pair of scissors.
As of this writing, she’s still hacking away at the black strand.
Let go or be dragged.