Friday, July 2, 2010

Following a Thread

The loose thread appeared to be something I could easily pull off my jacket.  It seemed to be an isolated flaw, and one which could be removed without disturbing the rest of the garment.  So, I grasped it between two fingers and gave a little tug... and then watched as the hem neatly unravelled in my hands!

Obviously there was nothing "isolated" about that thread.  Like so many of the issues of our lives, that loose thread was entwined around other, more stable threads and caught up in the overall weave of the jacket in ways I could not see at first glance.  Pulling the one thread actually impacted several others in a way that brought about the unravelling I had so wanted to avoid.

For me, it was a good lesson and an excellent metaphor.  There are times when I have felt myself unravelling.  There are times when I am caught in the grip of emotions which are entwined around one another.  And I cannot always recognize those threads - much less follow them - on a conscious level.  Just last night I was frustrated about three months of child support not yet paid, and college tuition due in less than a month.  I was fearful and more than a little angry about emails gone unanswered and promises not kept.  And I found myself unravelling.

This morning light dawned ... and I realized that I had been pulling a thread of grief which was entwined around the threads of anger, fear, and righteous indignation.  I have been a single mother for 15 years.  Those 15 years have lulled me into thinking the wounds of rejection, the pain of loss are healed and gone.  But the truth is that those threads are still a part of the tapestry of my life.  No wonder the level of my unrest kept rising; no wonder my anger rose to rage, when I inadvertently began to pull at the threads of pain.  

I do not like to unravel, even a bit.  And I do not do it very often.  Yet I am learning to welcome the fraying when it comes.  Because it always gives me a chance to follow the threads and to see where they lead.  It gives me an opportunity for healing and a chance for hope.  When a garment - or a life - unravels, you have a chance to re-weave it (maybe even to re-birth it!) into something stronger, more beautiful, and new.  

So I wonder where the next thread will finally lead?

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