Take a look at a football, even if you’re not a sports fan you can see that the laces are “stitched” and can easily represent a “wound”. The client I read last week was shown a football and the guides said the laces represented the size of the wound she was holding onto. The laces represented the stitching, yet by failing to accomplish goals, wasting time and holding self defeating thoughts she keeps the wound open. What wounds are you keeping open and why? What purpose do they serve? DO they keep you from focusing on your real goals?
In this same reading the guides told the client to draw a ladder and to place herself in the middle. They told her to look back and see everything she had accomplished then they told her to look forward to see what’s ahead.
I’m not one to keep looking back, actually I was brought up with a Cuban saying “patra ni pa cojer impulse” which means “backwards not even to grab some momentum”; however, I was also brought up with a thought form I disagree with which is “lo bueno no se tiene que decir”, translated as “the good doesn’t have to be mentioned”. I disagree with the latter because I think we do need to realize what we have accomplished and acknowledge our strengths to keep us going and continue our growth. As an educator we use something called the Sandwich Method when we give student feedback, you start with praise, continue with constructive criticism and some ideas for improvement and wrap up with praise. This method makes sense to me, everything cannot be only about pointing out the bad, but everything can’t be about praise either, it’s a balance.
This leads me to the ladder in the reading. The ladder represents balance; you need it to be balanced so you can reach your destination. The ladder in spirituality has typically meant progress or moving towards something. Often it has been interpreted as achieving personal wholeness or even used in the Bible as a symbol of communication between the spiritual and physical aspects of the self. As the guides tell the client to place herself in the middle of the ladder it’s a placement of balance and a perfect place to sandwich yourself, see the good, but yet, see what’s left to focus on.
How many of you feel stuck? Criticize yourself that you haven’t accomplished anything? Beat yourself up for wasting time? Feel you can’t focus? The reality is that we grow and change daily, we do not give ourselves enough credit for where we have been and where we are headed.
Look back at the ladder and plot our where you’ve been. You started out small, but you have slowly gone up the ladder. With each heartbreak, job experience and family feud you have slowly moved up the ladder, a little bit closer to heaven.
Draw yourself on a ladder, pick the middle rung and write down what you want to accomplish next and give yourself a deadline. Don’t think about the next rung or the one after that, just focus on the goal at hand. Once that one is accomplished, then move on to the next one. You can make it small or big, it doesn’t matter the ladder is endless and we will always be moving towards something in this lifetime so to beat yourself up that “you’re not there yet” is a waste of time.
I used to teach a Strategies for Success class and these were known as “up-to” goals, and “through” goals, maybe note on your ladder what you’re UP TO goal is (e.g., losing 100 pounds) and your through goals are noted with each individual rung (for every 10 pounds you move to the next rung).
Now this may simply appear like a goal-setting activity, and in part it is; however, the guides were very clear on pointing out two key things related to the symbolism of the ladder.
First, they emphasized how we often keep ourselves from achieving our goals because we don’t feel we are worthy. We focus on past hurts and pains to keep ourselves from moving forward. Remember the football mentioned above?
What wounds are you holding onto that keep you from achieving balance? Staying focused? And achieving your real dreams and desires? Remember that if you try and hold a football while climbing a ladder that keeps you unbalanced, unsafe and likely of falling off and getting injured. If you are making excuses by holding on to the hurts of the past, throw them away, they are weighing down your ladder and making you lose focus and stability. Throw the football to the ground; grab the ladder with both hands and head for the stars.
Next, is the symbolism of doing it alone. The reality is that the ladder is made for ONE person and that is YOU. If you’re holding on the hurts that your parents didn’t love you, that your husband left you, that your boss fired you, you’re on the ladder with someone else, those things keep you off balance, off track and inevitably unable to achieve your ultimate goals. The ladder is a one man show, not a team sport. You need to get on the ladder alone and climb up one rung at a time. If you’re wasting time with people that aren’t helping you reach your goals, keep climbing only one of you fit on your ladder. Who is it going to be? Them or YOU!? Instead of looking for approval from others, ask your guides and your angels, they know how to fly, they don’t need a ladder… actually they’re the ones helping you keep your balance.
The guides used this imagery of the stitching in the football and the ladder because if you look at the football stitching it resembles a ladder. The point is to turn your wounds and hurts into your ultimate success.
Keep climbing and win at the game of life!