I was at my ropes end. I held the rope in my hand contemplated tieing one last knot at the end and ending it all. I had been through so much over the last few years. All the struggles all the heartache, all the problems I didn’t know if I could take any more. I didn’t see a way out of the hole, I felt, I had dug myself into.
It was a scary and solemn feeling to realize I had dug myself into a hole with my choices, and now I had made my very own rope to hang myself.
I felt knots in my stomach as I held the rope in my hands. “throw the rope” I heard a small whisper say. “Throw the rope” I threw the end of the rope.
It’s amazing how we can look at our problems and see failures, struggles, weights while those problems may really be lessons, growth, stairs.
“hardships from the past help you succeed in the future” ~Phillip Emeagwali
Every single time I was thrown a monkey wrench or stumbled, I felt knots in the pit of my stomach saying my situation was never going to get better. I would take that knot and build a rope. You know that feeling you get when there is a failure, that tightness in your stomach? Yeah, that feeling doesn’t actually dissipate and go away, it transforms into a rope. By rope, I don’t mean a physical rope, but a thought process, a course of action. We all are building ropes every single day. Our thought process determines our course of actions and our course of actions determines our fate.
When you get that knot in your stomach and start the beginning of your rope, pay attention to the feelings that come. Are the feelings hope and strength or are they hopeless and defeat. The difference determines the type of rope you are starting.
If you find yourself feeling hopeless and defeated, allow yourself space and time to feel those feelings. Really listening and analyzing those feelings. Letting your emotions be free without judgment. If you feel you need to cry, cry. If you feel you need to scream, scream. Allow yourself to release. Once you have provided yourself with space and time to release the emotions that come along with hopelessness and defeat, process and analyze them. Processing and analyzing isn’t judgment.
Judging is comparing a situation to a standard based on biases developed socially. An example would be, I am so stupid I should have known better not to quit my job to become an artist. What was I thinking? An artist doesn’t make any money, they struggle and now all I will ever be is a struggling artist.
Processing and analyzing a situation is looking at the circumstances, observing, and finding explanations for those observations. An example would be, I am sad because I thought quitting my job and pursuing my passion would be fun and make me so happy. But, now I am broke and struggling to pay my bills. This is a new venture for and I knew it was going to take courage and strength. I think I am really scared right now. Judging is usually consumed with an opinion that usually encompasses the outside. Processing is usually consumed with an understanding that encompasses the inside.
By paying attention to the knots, you can determine what type of rope you are constructing. When you are able to process your hardships and challenges, they become knots that lead you higher and higher. You begin to put together knots that are used for climbing. Hardships and struggles can propel us to our destiny when they are used correctly.
In what seemed like my darkest hour of despair, became my moment of freedom. As I climbed each knot, I reflected on that moment in time and how it lead me to this exact moment and I felt a sense of gratefulness. I thanked it for the courage and lift it provided me. I climbed higher and higher using each knot. Finally, there was sunshine, warmth against my face. I was free! While I knew I was not free from ever experiencing another hardship, I knew I was free from bondage. I knew at that moment nothing and everything could stop me from living my best life, the difference between the two was my choice. The ending of my story was mine to write.