It’s funny, isnt it, how you can understand a phrase one way, then something opens up in your experience and suddenly it means something completely different?
I’ve been becoming more and more aware recently, of just how obsessive I can be – how I can grip on to ticking every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’ before I feel I can finally let go. Perhaps there’s the clue “finally let go”. As I write that I have an image of myself, sometimes feeling like I am hanging on for dear life, to some particular point (particularly in a discussion – argument? with someone)
And how many different savings accounts I used to set up, just so that I could “keep track of” where I was up to? Tying myself up in knots trying to remember all the different credit cards, covering all different scenarios, just so that I could be sure what outlay was being paid off when. Isnt all debt just debt?!!
And all the while, considering that little phrase up there was supporting my every obsessive action – justifying each extra little action, each “just to be sure” as I believed that “The Devil’s in the Detail” was somehow confirming that if you dont pay attention to every detail, then some kind of devil will appear!!
Only, recently, I’ve had the opportunity to be creating new relationships on the phone, peer support and mentoring. And, well, to be honest, each time a new relationship is begun, a theme has begun to emerge. I begin to tie myself up in knots with “wanting to be sure that we are doing everything right”. Labouring and labouring points, getting anxious and uptight if every “t” of the instruction is not crossed and looking to stamp that great big bloody dot on each “i”!!!
It’s so easy for me to blame the poor unfortunate partner on the other end of the phone. Only I cant get away from the fact that each time I approach this, something happens that leaves me out of sync with whoever I’m in the relationship with.
And to be fair, my poor longsuffering husband John, and 16 year old son Saul (well, 16 year olds bring their own set of relationship issues to the table!!!), have been subjected to my need for accuracy, certainty, and “getting our discussions right” for God knows how long.
And then it dawned on me – there’s a seeking perfection, an unwillingess to allow for uncertainty, for things not be quite finished, to not be absolutely proven or an absolute gripping of life’s situations so bloody hard that knuckles are almost bare!
And that word popped into my head – “detail”.
. . . and just like a lightbulb going off that phrase took on a whole new meaning! All my obsession with detail, with accuracy, care and perfectionism is introducing a little devil into all my dealings with others. Instead of there being a smooth flow of communication, a potential for intimacy there is this weird blockage – and it’s that little Devil!! He’s dancing and laughing away in every attempt I make to be perfect!
I think it’s time to wave him goodbye! So, I’m making myself a promise, to let that “t” remain uncrossed and leave some bare “i’s” waving in the wind without their dots pinning them down! To gently front that sense of anxiety as I consider “what if I’ve not finished, what if I’ve not checked it or not made sure that’s absolutely watertight?” and remind myself that if “The Devil’s in the Detail” then maybe there’s some “Love & Life in the Letting Go!”