You must decide for yourself to whom and when you give access to your interior life. For years, you have permitted others to walk in and out of your life according to their needs and desires. Thus you were no longer master in your own house, and you felt increasingly used. So, too, you quickly became tired, irritated, angry, and resentful.
Think of a medieval castle surrounded by a moat. The drawbridge is the only access to the interior of the castle. The lord of the castle must have the power to decide when to draw the bridge and when to let it down. Without such power, he can become the victim of enemies, strangers, and wanderers. He will never feel at peace in his own castle.
It is important for you to control your own drawbridge. There must be times when you keep your bridge drawn and have the opportunity to be alone or only with those to whom you feel close. Never allow yourself to become public property, where anyone can walk in and out at will. You might think that you are being generous in giving access to anyone who wants to enter or leave, but you will soon find yourself losing your soul.
When you claim for yourself the power over your drawbridge, you will discover new joy and peace in your heart and find yourself able to share that joy and peace with others.
~ Henri Nouwen
Brian Patterson Faithworks – Frank Lloyd Wright shares a childhood experience with his uncle that set the pattern for his life.
Micah 6:8 You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Over the last few days several thoughts have been rambling around in my brain and my heart. These thoughts feel disjointed, unrelated and there is an uncertainty in where they are leading. This feels odd as when I sit to write a blog post a direction has clearly presented itself with with a correlation to the process of quilting. This week, not so much.
Let’s start with the story about Frank Lloyd Wright. I find the story fascinating as it shows a unique difference in people: his uncle moved from A to B with B always in sight, the route was planned and there were not to be any side trips. Period. Side trips were a waste of time, effort and energy. Frank moved from A to B and took all of the side trips along the way. The conversation with his uncle reinforced for Frank that taking the side trips was worth it because he got to see and enjoy so many things along the way. I would bet that this informed his style of Architecture as well in that his buildings are indeed interesting with side trips build in. While I tend to think of myself as an “A to B” type of person the reality is I tend to wander. Part of me wants to get from A to B on a straight path however when I take leave of that path and go wandering there are some amazing experiences to be had out there. I’ve also realized that I don’t want to be the person who takes the straight line from A to B because of the sights to see. A few years ago my sweetie and I were visiting a winery that bears our last name another customer said something like, “we came here on a tour a few years ago to see what we’re supposed to see.” I now understand how puzzled I was by her comment. And to quote a dear friend, “God writes straight with crooked lines.”
Micah 6:8 has been rattling around my noggin as an earworm. There are several songs with this verse as the underpinning. While I think I know what this is about personally it’s actually hard to say. All I’ll add here is be gentle with yourself and others.
And Nouwen. Ah Henri Nouwen. Oh! Oh! Micah and Nouwen are related. oh! I wish you could see the light bulb moment in my head. Oh! I love these moments because they are totally unexpected. I went to grab a link to Cyndi Souders blog because it related to all of this and the lights are on and I’m home. Oh! So I won’t say what this is related to because of the potential fallout of making something public. Let’s just say this moment has released a great deal of personal stress.
Dear Quilters – when the negative stress of another person is weighing you down to the point where you can not create – let go of that person. Or more to the point, let go of the control of your life you are giving that person. I’m not all Polly Anna and know that everything will turn out well because we all know the truth, there will always be negative people in our lives. Sometimes we’re that negative person in someone elses life whether we want to be or not. I know letting go or limiting interaction is not easy however, it is well worth the practice. We are not door mats for someone to scrape the crap off their shoes.
Let’s go make something beautiful!
7 thoughts on “Patchwork Thinking”
Very time appropriate for me. Thanks!!
Here! Here! (an old expression, by which I mean I heartily agree. And indeed, let’s go make something beautiful)
I think that your new word for the year has borne fruit already! I love the castle/moat/drawbridge metaphor. I may have to do a quilt on the subject. Thank you for sharing these thoughts today.
Great blog today. Life is way to short to deal with negativity. I too am learning that I can’t fix/patch everything, Letting go is getting easier and feels wonderful!
A thought I’ve heard elsewhere but also repeated: don’t let someone else live rent-free in your head. And if you do, don’t be surprised if they trash the place.
It’s a hard lesson to put into action, though, isn’t it?
Beautiful post, Teri. I especially like the paragraph by Nouwen. It has meaning to me because I find that I leave my drawbridge down and then when happenstance occurs and I am uncomfortable with it, I try to make whatever happens better for the other people involved. I am working on keeping my drawbridge up and selectively allowing what is good, healthy and productive in. Thank you.