Learning to Untangle by Learning to Let Go – By Arianna Jeret

I have always had an uncanny knack for untangling those pesky little knots that seem to magically appear in the thin chain of a necklace.  I have never understood it, but somehow I knew intuitively that if you just insert the end of a toothpick or needle or two into center of the biggest knot and gently draw the crumpled pieces apart without trying too hard, the knots simply fall until away one by one until you are left with one straight line you can reconnect into a beautiful circle and put back on.

Then last week I was hanging a capiz shell wind chime that had been packed away for a while.  I saw how tangled the delicate wires had become and was concerned that if I tried to undo the nest they had piled themselves into I would ruin the whole piece.  I took a look through the mass of crossed lines, found a knot that looked semi-undoable, and began to peel the threads away from each other.  I daydreamed while doing so, drawn into the lovely sounds the shells made every time they touched and by the way the colors hit the light through the window.  Before I knew it, the snags in the wires were coming undone, and the lines were falling as they were meant to once again.  When I snapped back to my task at hand for a moment and focused more intently on what I was trying to do, the work actually became more difficult again and I came close to snapping a few wires.  I told myself to just enjoy the peace of the undoing of it all.  Soon enough the structure meant to be hanging in my living room was just as it should be.

I certainly cannot say that anyone has ever accused me of NOT overthinking things enough.  I can jump from thought to thought quickly, and while that generates some exciting ideas and active planning, it can also lead me to paths of thought where I grow stuck in a less than ideal place, physically or emotionally, for far longer than I needed to be there.  If I look at my work mediating between spouses in their divorce process, I can honestly say that the most progress is made when both people can let go of the ties and complications they have lived with for so long, close their eyes a bit, and picture themselves following the fluid line back to their identity and their own happiness.  It is so hard for all of us to place the needle into a chain we want to fix and try to tug it in the direction we KNOW it needs to go.  All that does it cause breaks, frustration and more loss along the way.

I am keeping my wind chime in the center window of my living room to remind me of that need to relax and let go just when it feels most counter-intuitive to so.  It does make some beautiful music as my thoughts and planning go along their way.