You've heard the terms "uptight" and "loosen up." I had a conversation with a friend that prompted an interesting visual image. It seems to me that we have this imaginary spring inside us that keeps us together - keeps us from flying into a thousand pieces. The end of the spring is attached to an imaginary screw with it's head on our back (like baby dolls with battery compartments). When we face difficult times and it seems like we are in danger of "losing it" or "falling apart" even just a little, we turn the screw and tighten the spring hoping to hold it all together a little better. Sometimes, we loosen the spring later, but mostly we don't. We just live with this new state of tightness until it feels normal. When the next adversity comes along we repeat the process. Winding ourselves a little tighter. It works. We manage to hold it all together. The only problem is that everytime we tighten the spring, we lose a little fluidity in our movements - both physical and emotional. Our shoulders draw up. Our brows furrow. The last thing to go is our smile - lips become pursed. This also explains the meaning of tight--- that refers to one's backside. Emotionally, we become so absorbed in keeping ourselves in tact and not disolving into crying jags or angry outbursts that we are no longer able to experience joy.
I believe that the RevGal BE did some serious loosening of my spring. I see now that I can't play and enjoy life if I can't move either internally or externally. The joy I found there was directly related to letting go of my tight hold. That had begun before we left, but reached a whole new level of freedom on the deck of the boat.
Since I've been back, the spring has been tightened some with daily responsibilities, and friends facing difficulties. I was a little discouraged that the joy level seemed to dip. I understand now that it isn't all about staying loose all the time, but about remembering to loosen up every now and then.
I realize that our family has a collective spring too. It's been wound just about to the breaking point over the last 18 months. Now it is time for us to loosen up. We are moving toward that goal, but it is slow.
God of Joy and Pain, thank you for the light and loose times. Thank you for walking with us during the uptight times too. Remind us that you are truly what can hold us together when we need it. Amen.