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I am not a piece of fabric with a single purpose

I finally got around to making some face masks for my family last week. I’d been putting it off for a number of reasons, but as I was perusing my fabric I was struck by the biggest barrier to getting on with it. All the fabric I have accumulated currently holds in it the possibility to be almost anything. As I prepared each fabric to be cut, I recognised that there was a sadness in me for all of the things they would never be, from this point on they would have only one job, I was limiting them.

As is often the case when I do something a bit creative, my brain started mulling this over as I worked. I started to think about how we can treat lives in the same way. That, the fear of limiting ourselves can lead us to stay stuck instead of moving forward. We can stay trapped in our own heads trying to figure out all the possible consequences before we risk making a choice. We think we are keeping our potential safe, but, like the unused fabric in my stash, if we don’t grow and change, we will never reach our potential.

What I now know is that we are not meant to be a single piece of fabric with only one purpose. We are a collection of pieces made up from our own unique experiences, desires and choices. We can stitch these parts of ourselves together in an infinite number of ways, and at different times in our lives we will need to change and adapt. Some parts will be delicate and require patience and care to preserve them, others will be hard wearing and seem constant. As time passes and you need different things, you may decide to discard certain parts of your own fabric and reconfigure them so something new becomes the central piece.

While it is very possible to do this work on your own, it can be hard to stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Change is hard and can feel scary when we do it alone, which is why counselling can help. Instead of sitting alone, surrounded by pieces of fabric, there is someone else to sort through them with you. Someone who might ask a question that makes you consider a previously discarded piece, to help you pack up unused pieces safely for the future and to let go the bits that you no longer need.

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