Sweat is running into your eyes, your hands are aching, jaw clenched. The adrenaline is pumping through your veins. Shoulders heave, the energy you are expending is extraordinary.
The force is just as strong coming from the other end of the rope. Irritation is mounting, they pull, you pull harder, they pull again – one minute you’re ahead, gaining more traction – they double their efforts, you are losing ground. It’s exhausting and relentless, you don’t think you can go on. Then it dawns on you – why am I pulling on this rope? There is absolutely nothing here to gain but a little extra rope and the right to say you won.
So you drop the rope.
Instant relief, your heart rate starts to fall, followed by your breathing coming into line, you get some perspective and out of the heat of battle, your mind clears – why was I tugging so furiously?
DTR. Print it on a T-Shirt. Write it on your wall!
Drop the rope. If you are battling anyone, your partner, your kids, a work colleague, a situation, even yourself – DTR. Let go of your end. Stop tugging. In your mind’s eye, actually see yourself dropping a great big heavy rope, feel how good it is to not have to participate anymore. Just let it go, watch the conflict fall away.
In this space of calm where you are not reacting, not needing to be right, not desperate to be heard. In this space, possibility peeps through, the world goes on, and more often than not, things work out.
Often we don’t even mean to pick up the rope, someone hands it to us and we find ourselves caught up in some silly conflict. Don’t pick it up, say to yourself, no thank you, not today.
Don’t drop it in anger, don’t drop it with drama. Don’t drop it passive-aggressively, not righteously, nor as the martyr. In all these cases you aren’t dropping it at all, you are still in the game, giving it energy and fuel.
Drop the rope with love in your heart for yourself and compassion and empathy for others. Say nothing if that is all you can manage at the time.
Or say thank you, I’m done – we’re ok. I don’t need to be right, or heard, to clear my conscience , or vent my fear. I am ok with just ME knowing how I feel and who I am.