I woke up this morning with an old blog post on my mind…a draft from a few years ago about ribbon dancing in the chaos of life that never got published.
February always feels like kind of a funky month. It has always felt like a strange limbo land to me…not quite spring, and often times, there seem to be new gusts of unexpected winter.
So I thought it would be a fitting time to share this with you…
May we dance in the ribbons, the chaos of life and find new strength and joy peeking through!
In a conversation a few months ago, I was describing how I felt when an image popped up in my mind, a perfect picture of how I felt. There were shoe boxes with the lids off and ribbons overflowing out of each one.
Each shoe box represented the upheaval in a different area of my life. And since that’s what’s happening in pretty much every area of my life, you can imagine the number of boxes!
Even with the lids put on them, the anxiety remained, knowing what a mess all the ribbons were inside.
If you’re an organized person, like me, you’ll understand what a disturbing image this is (probably even more so for me right now with my physical symptoms and the way my brain is processing information) and why it matched how I was feeling inside.
Complete overwhelm and overstimulation. Frazzled to the max and completely out of sorts.
But somehow just having this image, this metaphor for how I felt seemed to have a soothing effect. I gave myself permission to dislike them.
Then one morning, in my mind’s eye, I saw those same boxes of ribbons but this time, instead of feeling the need to figure out how to get them cleaned up and back in order, I started picking the ribbons up by the handful, throwing them into the air with joy, and dancing around in the mess.
I’ve always been someone who likes things to be clean and organized; and still do. But if you haven’t noticed, life doesn’t often work that way. Life often feels like more of a mess, agonizing over unknowns and getting blindsided by the unexpected. Life has bigger plans for us. Life knows that there’s an order to the mess. And maybe this, this learning to dance in the mess, is the highest order there is.
If I hadn’t known the mess of ribbons, I wouldn’t have learned to dance in them–to dance with them. Same goes for life. It is in knowing all of the messy things that we don’t like, that we come to surrender our wishes for what we think life should be, so we can dance in harmony with the order that was there the whole time.
But it often doesn’t feel as easy or blissful as it sounds.
Even though I’ve made peace with some of these other boxes, right now I’ve got one in particular that’s overflowing and driving me crazy. And I really hate it. And that’s okay.
In the same moment that I allow myself to hate this stupid box and all of its maddening ribbons, I dare to trust in the order that is the mess. And maybe, one morning, (hopefully someday soon) I’ll wake up and be ready to dance with those ribbons, too.
But until then, there’s nothing to do but take a few deep breaths and allow our frustration with the mess to have its turn, until we’re ready to dance.
And I promise, your turn to dance will come.
Sending grace for your days with the icky feelings and blessings for the ribbon dancing that awaits you, just around the corner.
Or if you like Pocahontas…just around the river bend. 🙂
I’d love to hear from you!
How are you dancing with the ribbons of your life today?
Let me know in the comments below…
I’m sending so many blessings and so much joy your way, always.