My son was weaving something with multiple strands of embroidery thread. The kind of thread that is made of multiple strands itself. One of the threads got a knot near the end of it.
My son immediately pulled at the knot. It predictably tightened down. He pulled more. The knot did not yield. His first response was to stop the whole project due to this single, small knot. The project would be ruined. It would never work now. It was over.
I asked if he wanted help. He agreed. I offered to untie the knot for him.
He handed me the project with the offending knotted thread. He watched me. Very closely.
The knot was tight. Yet I knew I could get it to loosen. I just had to slowly work each of the smaller threads free. It would turn into an unsightly mess of tangled threads for a short period of time. But then the knot would be loosened and I could straighten it back out after that. He could move on with his project.
I got to work. He observed. He narrated the process without filter. You’re making it worse. You’re ruining it. Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Oh gosh, I think you should stop. Please stop.
I kept working at the knot. Knowing it would get worse before it got better. I tried to reassure him I knew what I was doing. He was near tears. Thinking he had made a huge mistake letting me loose on the knot. He narrated more. I really think you’re ruining it. I don’t see how this is going to work. This is not good. This is not helping.
I almost stopped. I almost gave in to the worry and anxiety that was coming at me. But I did not. I had a clear picture of where we needed to get to plus I knew I could get there.
A few minutes later the knot uncoiled. I straightened the embroidery thread. I handed him back his project. His eyes were huge. You did it. I didn’t think you could do it. But you did it. Thank you.
Then he went back to weaving.
If I were my own best friend I would remind myself of this story. It’s about a knot in a thread. Yet it’s also about life. It’s about anything you want to step up and do, that you believe is worth doing. It’s about working towards your goal, the goal you can see, despite everyone else telling you they think you can’t do it. It’s about a knot in a thread, but it’s also about so much more.