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Combing out the knots

I was in the shower the other day. It was morning. I was in a rush. I had 30 minutes till I had to get out the door. I decided to wash my hair. It was a last-minute decision and it added time to my already rushed shower routine. Valuable time that I did not have. After washing the shampoo out and applying the conditioner, I grabbed my comb. For those of you with short hair, you will be wondering where I’m going with this. But if you have ever had long and curly hair at any time of your life, you’ll know what happened next. I raked the comb through my hair – well, actually it wasn’t ‘through’ my hair as it was filled with knots. I thought that through some miracle, the knots would have disappeared, and the comb would glide through my knot free hair. But no. My comb got stuck in the knots.  As I tried to yank it through the knots again it just got worse. I winced at the pain that I was causing myself. I took a deep breath and realized that there was no way around it. The only way forward for me to reach my goal of knot free hair was to gently coax each knot out, one by one.  Painstakingly taking on each tangle until it disappeared. There was no quick fix.  There was no easy solution. There was just a single answer for me – every knot needed to be addressed and unknotted. I could not make it any speedier.  I could not get an early mark. I had to just do it.

It struck me that this was much like in life when we attempt to cut corners.  We get frustrated because we want to get results quickly. The process, no matter how simple, is one that we feel we can sidestep for a speedier outcome. We kid ourselves that it doesn’t matter if it isn’t done as well, as long as we get the desired outcome. So, we attempt to bypass the system and get irritated when we can’t. Or we tell everyone that it didn’t work, but really we didn’t work on it properly and follow the appropriate steps to make it work.

When you climb a ladder, you must take every rung on the ladder to get to the top. You cannot go from the bottom rung to the top rung in one leap. If you are fortunate, and happen to be a giant, you may be able to take two rungs at a time, but there is an undeniable fact that to climb a ladder, you’ve got to take it step by step, rung by rung. You have to hold on with both hands and follow the process. There just isn’t a shortcut up the ladder. But there are impatient people who attempt to climb the ladder in just a few giant steps, who then complain and blame the ladder when, in reality, they just weren’t doing the right action to get up the darn thing.

There are times to cut corners and get away with it. But there are also times when you have to follow the process to get the desired result so as I gently tug out every knot in my hair, I use that time to feel gratitude for everything that I have – running hot water, shampoo & conditioner, a comb and even the hair on my head – simple things that not everyone has. 😊

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