Quite some time ago, one of my oldest, but most comfortable pair of jeans got snagged. I must have rubbed up against something sharp unknowingly, which pulled a thread and caused a small snag. It was no big deal really, just one little thread, not even sticking out very far, but I still noticed it. I tried pulling the thread through to the inside of the jeans, so the default wouldn’t be visible from the outside. Chances are, no one would have ever noticed it from that point forward. No one except me, that is! I found every time I wore the jeans after that, my fingers always seemed to gravitate to that spot where the snag had occurred. Even though it wasn’t really visible any longer, there was still a bump in the fabric, as my fingers ran across it, and it bugged me! My finger nail would dig, push, rub, and stretch that spot out, trying to return it to the glorious snag-free days prior. Of course, the more I messed with it, the more the pronounced the spot became! What started off as a tiny bump in the fabric, now had worn its way into a spot slightly more faded than the rest, and the threads were wearing thin and beginning to separate. Once that happened, my finger nails couldn’t resist. What started as a tiny separation in the threads, became a small hole, that continued to grow the more I poked and prodded. The end result was a hole that was noticeable enough that they could no longer be my go to, every day, favorite jeans. Now they had become just a pair of jeans I could only wear when I was at home or working in the yard, but no longer worthy of outings! Yes, I know it sounds silly talking about a pair of jeans, but yet there was some degree of sadness and loss, as they really were my favorites.
As I sit here today, wearing and thinking about my jeans, and of course all the while still running my finger over the existing blemish, I began to realize this is often what happens in many areas of our life. Relationships often have the same dynamic, and whether we’re talking about a marriage, a friendship, or even a job, the same scenarios seem to play out. They can start out of the gate incredible and beyond amazing, yet one small snag happens. A comment or lack thereof, a misunderstood facial expression, a misinterpreted situation, none of which are any major deal, but they create a snag in the fabric of our relationship, if you will. Everything else may be 100% peachy, yet our focus and attention suddenly becomes trying to smooth things over, pulling those stray threads to the inside so no one will notice anything externally, and yet the bump remains and we continue to gravitate to it. What is it that compels us to ignore the perfection of every other characteristic of something, yet cannot allow us to stop poking and prodding the one, miniscule, absurdly tiny snag that would otherwise go completely unnoticed? It’s stunning that our continued obsession with the single, tiny defect leads us to behaviors that eventually ruin the item as a whole and lead to ill-fated unraveling.
Human nature, you say? Perhaps, yet I believe it runs a bit deeper than that. In my own life, perfectionism was the springboard for the picking apart of anything that was considered less than adequate. The fear of judgment from others drove compelling behaviors that created masks of exemplary proportions, in every aspect imaginable. What better way to hide the inadequate than with concealments of sorts? I mean after all, what might one think if they noticed any of my snags? Behaviors that are driven by fear are some of the strongest, most magnetic, damaging encounters we experience, yet they are the very snags we are drawn to again and again, and just can’t seem to leave alone.
I read a post today from a friend that said, “When you truly don’t care what anyone thinks of you, you have reached a dangerously awesome level of freedom.” There is such tremendous truth in this statement. Going within, digging deep, doing the often uncomfortable, yet necessary internal soul work that allows us to finally see our true value, our purpose, and what’s actually important in this life, is the only way to find that freedom. When we are dependent on the views and acceptance of others, we remain in a prison of our own making. When we know and unconditionally love who we are, when we know our value and that it cannot be altered or diminished by the perceptions or beliefs of others, there is a an innate freedom we possess that cannot be robbed from us by any external force. What’s interesting about this, in comparison, is that once we find ourselves in this now freed state, we still feel the bumps in our fabric, yet we no longer poke and prod them, creating more damage. We simply run our fingers over the bumps, smiling, as we recognize what those once represented, how it is now behind us, and the growth that came as a result. There is no avoiding snags in this life! Bumps are inevitable, but can be viewed as deficits and defects that can tear at our core worth and value, or as opportunities for growth and expansion that support us and increase our confidence and strength. I choose the latter, I hope you will too.
Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby