A Lesson From My Father

A Lesson From My Father

I’m not sure who said it first, but I know my father said it often–especially when I’d become impatient and peppered him with questions or pressed him for his opinion about a situation to give me THE answer, the CORRECT response, or affirmation on a decision I was anxious to make.

He would take that massive hand of his, gently lay it on top of mine and say to me:

Don’t cut what you can unravel, BB.

His blue eyes, clear and steady, would calm me down, at least long enough for me to regroup and consider his advice.

Oddly, patience was never a particular strength of my father’s—and he knew it. Mom would often point it out. “Now R. F., honey, you were awfully short with that person,” she’d say in her soft southern drawl. “I believe you lost your patience.”

“No, I didn’t,” he’d reply, his eyes twinkling at the love of his life. “I have PLENTY of patience. I’ve just used up my allotment for that person.”

I still smile and shake my head at his antics and his trademark verbal mischief. Yet, unraveling wasn’t only about patience, I learned. It is also about perspective.

Often we may think we’re done, finished, have “had it” or feel pressured from ourselves or others to cut the yarn and make a decision. But in truth, we may not have enough information. We may need to wait for life to unfold a bit more, time to pass, or space to come into the process so the next step is a little clearer.

From confronting someone about a needling concern to dealing with life’s major decisions about career and family, sometimes we need things to unravel at a slower pace and, “trust the process,” as Dad also used to remind me.

Unraveling has served me well. It may take me FOREVER to make a decision, but when I do, I generally have no regrets. It took me two years after my paralysis before I was willing to consider learning to drive with hand controls or putting a lift in my home to get to the second floor. I needed that time to reformulate my hope of walking to my reality of living. I had to be patient with myself and with the lengthy, yet valuable process of adjustment.

Unraveling gives us time to adjust, to reallocate our patience with the process.

Or, as Emerson said so well: “What is not performance is preparation.” Dad loved that quote, too.

How about you? What decisions have you made that benefited from the patience of “unraveling” or trusting the process? Tell me about it. I’d love to know!

Happy Father’s Day, to all the dads out there. Know your words to your children matter.

Becky and Dad

Oh, and a quick update. It’s time to finalized the title of my book! If you’d like to help me with the process, contact me.

My best—always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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