Posted on June 17, 2017 by Laura Fuller
By D. John Dyben, Clinical Fellow
One day, I noticed that my six year old son had some scratches on the inside of his arm and wrists and I asked him what had happened.
This is what he told me:
“I was up in this tree because I wanted to climb up it and I stayed there for so long and I could see everything and I was up so high and it was totally cool.
But then I tried to get down and I got stuck. I was like holding on to the tree and I had my arms around it trying to get down but I got scared and I was just hugging the tree and holding on so tight and I couldn’t go anywhere and I got really afraid.
But then I realized that my only hope was to let go.
And so I did, and I fell, and it wasn’t so bad, and then I was free.”
This is my son’s direct quote. I am not embellishing.
The importance of applying this principle to life struck me immediately and I have been thinking a lot about it since that time.
I get myself into positions where I can feel completely locked up. Like I can’t go up or down and any option is terrifying. And it is, I think, much harder now because at least when you’re a kid in a tree, folks can see that you are in trouble. In grown up world, it is often all internal and no one has a clue unless I let them.
I really want to do the right thing. Sometimes I want that too much. Maybe sometimes I am still trying to pay for past failures. Who knows? Whatever the reason, sometimes I get into over thinking, over controlling, and trying to “figure things out” to the point that it becomes paralyzing.
So, I am trying right now to remember JP’s lesson to me. Sometimes, my only hope is to let go. Even if I fall and get hurt, right now I am thinking that it is better than being locked up in a tree with nowhere to go.