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When Your Thoughts and Emotions Are Like a Tangled Box of Yarn

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A tangled box of yarn. As an elementary art teacher, this is something I have come across so many times over the years. Despite all planning and organization to prevent the mess from happening, it is usually a reality of using yarn with little kids.

When I look at the twisted, knotty mess, with loose ends coming out in all directions, and colors and tangles everywhere, there are several choices I can make. I could throw it all away, because the jumble is just too overwhelming and the knots look too tight and like the amount of time it will take to disentangle the mess is just not worth the time and energy. Another option is to sit down and get comfortable and know I will need to take hours to slowly, one by one, separate and straighten each colorful strand. In this scenario, I acknowledge the work can be done and some knots will need to be cut apart with scissors, but I can eventually get finished and have a functional box of yarn again. The last option is the one I usually take. The path of least resistance. Take the box of yarn, cover it and stuff it on a high shelf until I have to make a decision.

If you haven’t guessed yet, yes, this is another metaphor — the best one I can really use to describe the awful, tangled, jumbled parts of my mind that make up my thoughts, emotions and me in general. There are so many different strands tangled together that the entire mishmash is overwhelming. And in many ways it is debilitating. But putting it back on the shelf where it takes up space but never gets unraveled is no longer a solution. So I am currently stuck staring into the turmoil, feeling discombobulated and trying to gather up the energy to keep going.

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Thinkstock photo via Design Pics

Originally published: September 9, 2017
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