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Scissors cutting through the string

What is holding you back from your dreams?

A couple of days ago, I was helping my son clean out his closet and sort out old toys that he has long-since outgrown. In this process we came across something that I can only describe as a mass of string intertwined with a ball, a hand-made paper medal and an expensive, portable insect observatory. When we first saw this tangled knot of twine, my son exclaimed, "My ball! I was looking for this!" It was a ball that he himself had constructed with an elastic string attached which caused the ball to immediately bounce back to the thrower. In his enthusiasm, he began to try to untie the mess.

After about ten minutes of frustration and very little progress, he said, "Forget it. It's not that important anyway. Let's just throw the whole thing away." And with this he put the clump in the trash bag. I saw his disappointment, so I took it out of the bag to look at it. There was the ball with its elastic and wristband; there was the insect observatory; and there was the root of the problem: the worthless yarn on which hung a hand-made paper medal. I asked him to get me the scissors — to which he protested that I will cut the elastic and ruin it anyway. Just forget it, Mom. I asked again, and he reluctantly gave me his scissors. Within one or two minutes, I had cut away the yarn and freed the other two objects. Benny had the chance to play with the ball, throwing it across the room only to have it bounce straight back to him (followed by the decision that, yes indeed, he is a bit too old for it now!).

As I was watching him be reunited with the ball, I thought about how often in life we find ourselves exactly in the same position as my son. There is something blocking us from the thing that we desire, something holding us back. And through the jumble of it all, we cannot see how to reach our goals and desires. My son tried hard to free both the ball and the insect observatory, but he made the process too complicated. In fear that he would lose everything, he chose not to take the simple solution of cutting through the yarn, the thing that was holding him back from his goal. He got to the point that he was willing to give up on his dream.

How often does that happen to us? How often do we give up on our dreams simply because we do not want to face and/or destroy the thing blocking us? Even when the solution is easy and doable?

As we face a new year full of hope and desires, take a moment to reflect on what is standing between you and your dreams and goals. Ask yourself the following two questions:

  • What things in your life are holding you back either from something that you desire or from something of great value — just as the string was doing here?
  • How can you cut yourself free from the things that are binding you, that are holding you back?

For this New Year, I wish you much success, health and happiness — and above all, may you cut yourself free of everything that is standing between you and your dreams!

Happy New Year!


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