When the ladder speaks . . .

As I contemplate what to write about . . . I thought I had a piece . . . and then I got this . . .

As I woke up this morning contemplating everything I had to do today . . . I thought of the clothes I need to take somewhere to donate. And my eyes caught the jacket still hanging on my ladder. Some people have a chair, but I have an old ladder that I hang my clothes on at the end of the day, when suitable for another wear.

I looked at that brown fleecy lined jacket, contemplating how long it had hung there for . . . since the last time that I wore it . . . which was some months back. Then I remembered that at that time of wearing the jacket, I had discovered it had become too tight for me in the arms, thereby limiting my ability to move. And so now I find myself wondering . . . “Why is it still hanging there?” Because I really like it! And I wish I hadn’t outgrown it, but I have. The truth is, it’s still hanging there because I like it so much that there’s a part of me that really hopes that one day it will fit me again, and so I dont want to let it go.

Then while contemplating that jacket hanging on my ladder, I heard the question: “So what’s hanging on the ladder of your heart?” While I had a concept of what ‘the ladder of your heart’ might mean, I couldn’t fully grasp it, so I looked up the dictionary definition of the word: ladder.

2) a piece of equipment consisting of a series of bars or steps between two upright lengths of wood, metal or rope, used for climbing up or down something.

And so I contemplate . . . in all areas of my life: What have I outgrown? Even though I might still really like it? Have I let go of it? If not, then why not? Am I hoping it will one day fit me again? Maybe it’s not a piece of clothing? It could be a mindset or a belief that needs to change? It could be a connection/friendship/relationship? Or it could be a space and/or a place I am trying to fit in to?

But as with my jacket, if it is restricting me, limiting me in some way, why then would I want to, much less choose to, have that ‘thing’ hanging on the ladder of my heart? I was made to be who I am, without restriction, without limitation, so to be hanging on to any ‘thing’ that restricts and limits me is nothing other than self-sabotage. And why would I want to do that? Fear? Fear of what? Fear of failure? Or is it fear of success?

So going back to the ‘ladder’ definition: two upright lengths of wood, metal or rope: different materials with very different strengths, different weight capacities, and thus very different purposes. Yet they can serve their purpose together to some degree: as in a rope ladder with wooden steps. But regardless of what and how the materials are used, it is the ‘two upright lengths’ that must be stronger as they serve to support the ‘series of bars or steps’ for the climber to climb.

In different aspects of our lives, we are any one of these ‘materials’ and any one part of the ladder. For example in any one of my connections/friendships/relationships I may be an ‘upright length’ of support, or I may be a ‘step or a bar’ needing support from my ‘upright lengths’ around me. Or as in my new workplace, I feel more like the ‘climber’ utilising the ‘ladder’ (that is my work colleagues) for their knowledge as I ‘climb’ my way into a new workspace, to see if and where I fit.

Whether we are an ‘upright length’, a ‘bar or a step in a series of’, or a climber looking to climb, what is important is that over and above how much we ‘like it’ or ‘want it to fit’, we must first know the strength that we have, our capacity to hold, and the purpose of that which we carry in and through the climb. If it’s beyond our strength, outside our capacity, or not in line with our purpose, then it’s not a good fit. So . . . much like my jacket . . . dont leave it hanging there . . . hoping one day it might be a good fit. But instead acknowledge it for what it is, even if you wish it wasn’t . . . and as per the song in the movie Frozen: Let it go!

To conclude, I see two concepts within my thoughts here:

  1. the jacket and its representation of ‘things’ we allow to ‘hang on’ and
  2. knowing who I am in or on the ladder: an upright length, a step, or climbing.

I believe when we don’t, won’t or can’t “Let it go!” that another definition of ‘ladder’ enters our world:

2) a vertical strip of unravelled fabric in tights or stockings.

Our not ‘letting go’ leads to us becoming ‘unravelled’ in who we are, and so we do ourselves an injustice to who we are as a person in: our strength, our capacity, and our purpose.

So . . . regardless of those fears . . . whatever they might be. . . whatever you are hanging on to that is restricting you, or limiting you in any way . . . “Let it go!” and just be who you are in knowing the strength that you have, the capacity that you hold, and the purpose that you carry.

2 thoughts on “When the ladder speaks . . .

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