Wednesday, March 6, 2013
It seems like nothing in the world gets my attention faster than a hangnail. Y'know... those annoying little bits of flesh that rip, seemingly for no reason at all, from the sides of our fingers? They don't just fall off. They seem to grow roots and cling tenaciously to our fingers. Mine go mostly unnoticed until I catch them on something as I invariably do. Every time I do I make that ouch-hiss noise. Even so, I have to catch them on stuff at least a half a dozen times before I bother to do anything about it.
I'm reluctant to trim off my own flesh, cells that are part of me, living tissue with my DNA markers. I've grown this stuff, y'know? Finally I'll give up and get the little scissors and trim that tiny, antagonizing bit of flesh off. There might be the eensiest bit of blood that beads up at the site. Regardless, as soon as the task is completed, I feel better. I can go about my business without any further hurt-alarms. Hours later, I've forgotten it was ever there.
In much the same way, stuff that hurts us emotionally tends to cling. Hangups rather than hangnails, if you will. We might be past it, damage done, but every now and then we bump up against something and... ouch-hiss. It may even be in passing, something we barely acknowledge as, "Yeah, that hurts." Then something catches hold of it again. It's still there. Still waiting to cause pain.
How can we even think of getting rid of it? The experience was ours. The pain came at a price. It's part of what makes us. So what if, in the middle of a fine, sunny day we suddenly flinch and tear up.
But. What if we were to trim that emotional bit off? What if we simply let that chunk become part of the bigger picture. Because, just like that tiny bit of hangnail flesh, it isn't completely gone, but part of the great pile of discarded tissue that we humans leave behind every second of the day.
We can do that, you know. We can take power over past events. I'm not saying it's easy, I'm just saying that it can be done. We can take that mental hangnail and trim it down to just about nothing. Flick the hurt into the great carpet called That's Life. Tell it, "I acknowledge you, but you no longer get to hurt me."
Then we'd get to continue without distraction, without worrying about bumping into that thing again. Unhindered, we'd dive into the great thing that is happening right now.
I call it Life. All of it.