The Rope Trick: Letting Go of Control

My therapist asks me to stand up and she pulls out a yoga stretch strap. She gives me one side, and she holds on to the other.

There’s a giant pit between us, she says.

I picture Game of Thrones. Like, some serious shit.

I’m your challenge, and I’m tugging on you, she pulls on her side of the strap, how does it feel in your body? 

Um, tense. It feels tense.

So what are you going to do?

I pull back, she pulls back even harder.

That’s not going to work.

I walk around the circle.

Why are you trying to mess with me?

 She stares at me.

I assume I’ve made an error and go back to the tugging.

What else can do you do?

I don’t know. I let go.

So how does that feel?

Um, better. Less tense.

But I’m still here, right? The challenge is still here, but you’re letting it be.

You’ve chosen to be less tense. 

I’m working a lot, I’m almost exactly a year out of college, and I have a sprawling list of things that stress me out when I let them. Which I do… more often than not. But those things are always going to be there. She says that I have a problem with control. Needing to have control over everything. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, you can open a window if you get too hot or you can put on a sweater if you get too cold. You have control over some things. But some things you don’t. And in those moments, the best thing to do is just drop the strap. Stop tugging. And take care of the things that you can control.


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  1. What an interesting way to illustrate that timeless prayer….about God granting you the ability to change the things you can, accep what you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.

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