communal swim

September 21, 2022

Straining a muscle last week was an immobilizing sign that I had too much on my plate. My plate runneth over, in fact. On reflection, it’s clear that all the waters had merged, so to speak –– mine, my husband’s, my children’s, my friend’s –– and I was unable to distinguish between their lanes and my own. It was one giant pool, and there I was throwing out buoys in every direction even though everyone can swim. And if they can’t swim, they’re learning to. As parents, we incapacitate and undermine our children when we attempt to salve and solve their every issue. Marriage, or any other significant relationship, is no different. We think it comes from a place of love –– and feel undervalued when our efforts go unrecognized –– when in fact it is a need to control our own anxiety around what they’re dealing with and what it brings up in us that’s driving our efforts. It’s very human, and not very helpful. And this is when I know I need to step away from the pool, or the plate, or whatever metaphor we’re going with, and gain some perspective. Eventually I return to myself, find a lane, and swim on.


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