Almost everyone I meet is intelligent. We are smart. Despite that, so many of us do dumb things and paint ourselves into corners. It is an interesting expression and you could understand how it happens. You are so immersed into the task of painting the floor that you do not pay attention to where you are and the impact your actions are going to have. When you have nowhere to go, you finally look up to be hit with the reality that you have been painted yourself into a corner. You have nowhere to go and no one to blame but yourself. Sometimes it is humorous. Other times it fees like the end of the world. Regardless, when it happens we feel trapped.
When I was a minister we ran a youth outreach. We had many special guests that slid under the radar to come to Lockport to meet with the at risk teens and young adults. YA authors, poets, producers, artists and others from all over the country. One of our visitors was a Playboy model and an MMA ring girl who also had a remarkable story of overcoming many obstacles and life. We had spoken through a mutual friend. She was going a shoot in Chicago so we made arrangements to have her be driven over after her shoot.
During the course of the evening she spoke about how to use a journal as a therapeutic device. She had told us that it is the story of our lives and gave us a real life example. She had told us that she had recently had a relationship end and there was a period that she did not know how she would get through the heartbreak emotionally. She took her dog eared journal out of her purse and flipped open the pages. She writes in shapes and designs having the words form pictures so no matter how dark the period, she also recognized there is beauty. She flipped through the past chapters of the story of her life and found the chapter in her life where she had been in a similar space in her life. She realized that she had, in fact, been in this place before and she also had the story that not only did she heal and move on, she had a road map. She could reflect on what she could do different to heal more fully. She had a new chapter to write.
Most of us get into our life messes because we are living in the moment and not thinking about where we are at and going until it is too late. Most of us have been in painted corners more than once in life and we will likely be there again. We have the story of our lives to find the path out. We have the cognition to learn from our past and create a beautiful future. We have our story of then to get us though now so we can go to the future.
I wish I could tell us all that there will be no more painted corners. There will be. They teach us and they are a part of our story. Painted Corners.