Ever open your jewelry box and find your most precious possessions in a thousand tangles? Most of us have probably spent at least one afternoon sitting at a table with tweezers trying to undo tightly wound knots in delicate chains wondering how on earth things got so hopelessly messed up.
This is exactly how I felt yesterday talking to a dear friend of mine who is struggling mightily with her weight. As I patiently listened to her discuss and defend her complicated weight loss plan, I thought about how twisted and knotted her thinking had become. Her diet had over time morphed into a confusing tangle of nonsensical restrictions, each originally added in response to some perceived problem or potential solution, but in the end creating nothing more than a nightmare of counterproductive, complex and ultimately non-effective constraints that were literally driving her to fits of binge eating relief.
Unbelievably, the more we talked the more she seemed convinced that the answer was to introduce yet one more prohibition..one more lifestyle limitation to try and live under.
I thought about two fragile, golden chains that I had once, years ago, worked hard to separate. Try as I might, I could not pull them apart. These were not heirloom or expensive pieces- in fact I didn’t really know why I still had them in my jewelry box; I didn’t particularly like them. When I finally gave up, I sold them to the jeweler in town and happily ditched the futile effort. (I took the proceeds straight to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a nice, new frying pan.)
Let’s be honest, sometimes when the “life-tangles” we create are too tight to undo, the only answer is to melt them down and create something completely brand new; we need to give ourselves permission to accept that every problem cannot be fixed. A heavy, personal investment in a losing cause is in itself not sufficient reason to stay the course. Honestly evaluate the problem, pray for clarity and seek a clear path forward..even if it means walking away.
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33