These last few weeks a word keeps going into my mind…. unravelling. I’ve decided I love that word and the possibilities it offers. I did a straw poll and discovered it’s a bit divisive. For some it signals space to think, clarity and new possibilities. For others it signals disintegration, danger and risk and to be avoided. I’m in the first camp and see it as an amazing time and gift. So here is the first of my musings inspired by looking up ‘unravelling’ in a large pile of dictionaries!
Unravelling means to separate the threads
As children we create and learn stories and ways of living that give us the best chance of love and safety in our families. These might be about what we did to get loved. What we did that got praised. Our parents ways of caring for us. These stories and ways of being and acting are still echoing in us today. We might have learnt many many stories of who we are and who we are not. I know one of my many ‘stories’ is “I am competent and organised and I can sort anything out”. Not such a bad story (I will save those for another time), but I thought that is what people liked about me and I was only valued if I was being competent, organised and sorting things out. According to friends and clients that is really not the case. I’m living a life limited by the drive to demonstrate my competence and organisation capacity, rather than what they really value about me!
Then the stories can start to intertwine – ‘I must be competent and useful’ and ‘be independent, look after yourself in case others can’t or won’t’. How might even these two stories intertwining affect how I view the world, how I see myself and others? What I think others expect of me? What life possibilities are open to me?
Unravelling offers a time to start to see each thread of story and how they drive our thinking and doing in the world – the good and the bad, the helpful and the unhelpful. As we separate the threads we start to get a chance to make different choices.
Why not come along to the next Sister Stories circle to explore and share your own thoughts on unravelling – or anything else that feels needs to be spoken.