I was doing laundry a few days ago and after washing one load, I promptly transferred it over to the dryer, threw another in the washer, and then got busy doing something else. Forty minutes later, the dryer beeped, signaling the end of its cycle, and I opened the door to find a twisted ball of sheets and towels.
I know better, I thought, as I began unwinding the mass, tossing several pieces back in for another spin. I’d learned a long time ago that forgetting to stop the dryer mid-cycle to separate bedding always results in an outer layer of perfectly dry sheets and an inner core of still damp wash cloths and pillow cases.
I was annoyed as I started the dryer for a second go-round. I hate wasting time and I just wanted to check this task off my to-do list as quickly as possible and move on. But now I was stuck, my progress impeded by something I could have easily prevented. I almost laughed when I thought about the irony. About how much time in my life I’ve spent treading water, stuck in old patterns that weigh me down because I get too busy to address them.
A good example is how I’ve been writing for years without really gaining much momentum on anything, until several months ago when I met a couple of very wise, very honest women who taught me that moving forward often requires looking inward. And by taking the time to do so, I uncovered a number of deep-seated fears that had been hindering me from reaching my writing potential.
I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the rush of life. To run on automatic and assume that the aches and pains we carry from the past will somehow take care of themselves in the future. But I’ve also come to understand that personal growth is a lot like that load of sheets and towels. That if we don’t periodically stop and peel off the layers in order to evaluate those things that get caught deep down inside of us, they will eventually hold us back.
So, if you’re a writer who’s been rewriting the same paragraph for three weeks or three months or three years. Or you need to drop fifty pounds, but you’re trapped on a repeating cycle of losing and regaining the same ten. Or even if you just feel a vague sense of dissatisfaction with your life. I encourage you to look past the surface to what’s really going on underneath. Somewhere, beneath the accumulation of twisted up emotions that you’re clinging to, is the YOU God made you to be. Be courageous, dear friend, and go find her.