the ladder

Rumi on love

So, if there was ever a ladder around, I would be the first to try and climb it.

When I was a runner, I was always looking for another set of stairs.
When I was a swimmer, I was always looking for another kilometre to swim.
When I’m on the mat, I’m always looking for a deeper pose or a stronger balance.

Because I like a challenge.
And I like to work hard.
The greatest thing I like to challenge and work hard on, is myself.

Next Wednesday, I have another job interview. It’s another rung on the ladder that calls me to step up to it again and again. In the last 3 years, I’ve had 4 rungs I’ve tried to climb. Each ladder step drawing me higher and higher. Towards more hours, more responsibility and a higher pay scale. Making me feel more successful around professional peers and more directed in my career climbing goals. If I step up to this next rung, it will quiet my insatiable need to fill up my CV. At least for the next year or so.

Until another ladder rung presents itself.

Last night, I lay in a home that was quiet and still. My 3 smalls all sleeping away again for the second time in less than a week. I lay there in the calm, in the emptiness, in the silence. I replayed goodbye hugs and stollen kisses through my seeking heart and my reaching mind. I began to see Time as a cloaked shadow. Stretching out and wrapping itself around my small ones to hide them from me completely. It began shaping them into their own expressions of a their present. So much so that I couldn’t feel what they were growing towards anymore and I couldn’t hear what their bodies needed to tell me. I saw myself standing next to them but not able to touch them. Because while they were being consumed within the cloak, I was standing next to them and holding my ladder. The ladder I was always trying to climb. The ladder I was holding with 2 hands.

Taking me away from my cloaked small ones.
Towards what I thought I wanted.
And away from the only thing I really needed.

Think standing strength, yin forward folds and meditation.

We can often live in a dichotomy between oppositions. A place where there is the greatest possible amount of tension between two opposing forces. Be that two directions of movement, or two types of thinking. And for me so often, the polarities of stepping out and choosing whether to move forwards into my career or to step inwards and move forwards as a mother.

When we are forced to stand at the centre of two forces opposing in two directions, we can’t help by being changed by it. It asks of us to not only start checking out about our steps up, but also to check in but our where our steps may lead. We are asked to question what matters most to our hearts and about where we feel vulnerable in our minds. And to trust that we have the choice to bring about a working balance between all that is in opposition or conflict within us. So as to direct our choices and create our balance. So that we don’t feel overpowered by the cloak of Time.

Rather, we feel ready to live fully within it.

I have a job interview on Wednesday which has the potential to take me up on another step on my career ladder and in a different direction on my journey. It means a steep learning curve, a reliable nanny and take-outs on Wednesday nights. It’s like stepping double sets of stairs on a run, or sprinting another kilometre of a swim. It’s like holding a half handstand on nothing but your breath and your fingertips. It’s a challenge that my career-thinking wants to take but somehow my heart-thinking is not so sure.

I can see what’s ahead for my 3 small ones. In 3 years time, my eldest wise one will have her first hangover. In 3 years time, my middle red will have her first pash. In 3 years time, my wingman will find out that he’s really good at something amazing – and he will need to hold me hand to be brave enough to take the next step on his journey.

I can see all this so much so that tomorrow morning, I’m going to call my employer. Because for the moment, I’m going to step off the ladder. I’ll still hold it with my left hand. So that I can stay steady where I am. But my dominant hand will reach back and will reach down. Meaning I can hold everything that I have with me now.

Until they feel ready to let go and fly away.

Pausing on my ladder means that every so often, I can nestle under the cloak of Time. I can hang there with my small ones while they are still small enough to make room for me. It’s where I can steal back my kisses and let them know I will always want to hug them,

Only this time, I’m not afraid to use both my hands.

x

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