When we hear about unraveling, our minds might automatically think negatively (to undo, to fall apart, a collapse). Jane Simon, MD states, “Unless a person has experienced it, the condition is frequently misunderstood. For this reason, the sufferer feels alone, isolated, crazy, often wishing he could trade his psychological discomfort for a physical malady to receive sympathy.” (read more here)
In a perspective shift, let’s take a look at the positive side of unraveling.
Rise. Don’t get angry or enraged or insulted. Rise above the bullshit. Flick your light back on, and shine it brighter than ever, and fall so deeply in love with your own life that anyone who tried to wrong you becomes a laughable, ridiculous, distant memory. — Cara Alwill Leyb
People come and go during our lifetime. Some are meant to stay forever, others for a limited time. The commonality is they all bring lessons. Even if they are difficult or painful (i.e. we don’t always like the lessons we are learning), we must be grateful for every one. When their time is up in our lives it can be sad, disappointing, hurtful or depressing. It can also be the freedom from complications & difficulties that we seek. Ideas, thoughts and concerns, once a tangled knot in our hearts and minds, suddenly become crystal clear.
It’s in this unraveling moment that we can say Enough is Enough.
Seriously, be strong and know when enough is enough. Take your stand, speak up and refuse to let others hurt you. Throughout your lifetime, some people will discredit you and treat you poorly for no apparent reason at all. Don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval. And don’t make any space in your heart to hate them. You don’t have control over what others think about you, but you do have control over how you decide to internalize their opinions. Leave them to their own judgments. Let people love you for who you are, and not for who they want you to be. Or, let them walk away if they choose. They can’t harm you either way; it’s their understanding that is faulty, not yours. — Unknown
When we allow ourselves to become wound so tight by stress, anxiety, and the opinions of others, we can become numb to emotions & feelings. We may also try to compensate for this lack of feeling by turning to drugs, alcohol, irresponsible sex, food, etc. They may return to people (misogynists, narcissists, abusers) who are not good for their physical, mental or spiritual health but provide a perceived moment of comfort. Others may hide, coming out only for work or the absolute necessities of life. Avoidance is not healthy and no way to live.
Instead, imagine a loose thread on the neck of a sweater. You know you shouldn’t pull it, but there it is and it’s so tempting. Just a small tug, nothing bad will happen right? You give it a little pull, and then some more, and suddenly, the garment is unraveling before your eyes. It’s the same in life. Sometimes, we just have to give a little pull to get the ball rolling. Just think about the day we can resolve the intricacies or complexities of a problem or issue at work or within our relationships. This could lead to a promotion, a cure for devastating health conditions, or new ways of doing business. It could improve our conversation, our intimacy, our overall well-being.
When you pull that string, all of the tangled up knots come tumbling out. Hurts, regrets, shame, scars, uncertainty, fears, etc. spill out like a waterfall. The unraveling is a beautiful thing! Now that everything is in the open, you can confront each thing that is weighing you down. You can’t fix it if you don’t confront it.
Once we confront it, truths & lessons emerge. It won’t always be pretty, but being momentarily uncomfortable is a small price to pay for the mindset shifts and freedom that will be your reward. We’re all in the same boat–no one’s life is perfect (I don’t care what they portray on social media). We hide rather than share our stories and become embarrassed by vulnerability rather than embracing it. We yearn for smooth sailing rather than sit with the chaos now and then.
Freedom comes when we can welcome a mindset shift. It comes when chaos surrounds us but we have trained our minds, hearts and souls to be calm and at peace. We have freedom when we learn the opinions of others are not our business. Thank them for their comments and let them know you will take them into consideration. Accept them and shift your perspective or pull that string and let them tumble out as well.
The Unraveling: listen, lean in, let go. Growing into our authentic self gives us permission to be real. Surround yourself with people who love you through the unraveling (and you do the same in return). Now, more than ever, each of us needs to provide our love, light, peace and grace into the world.
You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you, that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.
Will you pull that string today?