Monday, April 14, 2008

Wound Up Tight

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.


God_Guurrlll said...

That is so true, preach it sister.

I've found that I can do my ministry a lot more effectively when I am looser.

I wonder what I can do to keep the looseness going. I can feel myself starting to get wound up tight again and it's only been a couple of weeks since we got off the boat.

Peace and love,

zorra said...

Praying for your joy.

DogBlogger said...


Songbird said...

Thank you, mlr, for this very timely reflection.

will smama said...

"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."

You and I have posted from very similar places. Now that the emotion is not as intense, what have I learned to help me live better off the mountaintop (or in our case, the boat deck).

Really insightful post, thank you.

mid-life rookie said...

God gurrrlll, I reminded Gifted & Talented there was a time we bought the Friday paper simply to see what was happening around town entertainmentwise. We used to plan to have fun. So we are working on that now. Planning to go the Main Street Arts Festival next weekend. If we make it on Friday evening, we'll hear one of our favorite singers Terri Hendrix (see If we go on Saturday perhaps we'll find an new "one of our favorite singers" and some pretties to buy too.

God_Guurrlll said...

The concert sounds like fun!

This Friday evening the temp is going to be above 70 degrees (woo hoo). Partner and I are going to fire up the grill and have us a bbq.

Mary Beth said...

Oh, well said. Thank you!

Marji said...

First visit to your blog!

So, don't lose your joy, joy joy. It's down in your heart (down in your heart, down in your heart). All you have to do is get it out every now and then and air it out. Just don't let anyone squish it while you have it exposed.