Square Man, Round Hole: Overgripping and the Hindrance to Progress


146-365-square-peg-into-a-round-hole_lMy Sunday morning this past week was pure bliss. A lazy, loverly morning spent underneath a down comforter warmed by collective body heat followed by breakfast with the Caligater. A month had gone by since we’d had the change to catch up, our lives no more than random “squeeeeees” passing in the Twittersphere.

Something came up as we traded conversation over a table filled with buckwheat pancakes and scrambled something-or-others:

Square man, round hole.

I liked the ring of it so much that I had to write it down.

It’s woman’s life-long battle, no? Find a man/man engages/finally – a man who engages!/do I want this man?/it’s better than NO man/keep the man?/ditch the man and hold out for greener pastures?

(Realizing I’ve just summarized the entire run of Sex in the City)

My thoughts this week dribble across those who choose to hold on as opposed to let go. Of all the things in life we’ve come to know, we know when something is not a fit (see Exhibit A above).  Yet what makes us so unbelievably blind and inarguably stupid when it comes to holding on to something that ain’t working? We have no problem sending back a meal at a  restaurant, but when situations and people don’t jive with our groove – why the hell do we hold on?

Fear-based decision making is, without a doubt, the greatest hindrance to success out there. If we’re so busy holding on to something, aren’t we misdirecting our energy? When you’re on a bike or climbing ice, overgripping will fuck you up in pretty short order. When you relax and give yourself to the situation, you know what you have to do.

It’s the damndest thing: when you let go, you make progress. And sometimes, you perform even better.

I’ve heard this argument a lot lately:

  • I hate my job, but I can’t think about looking for another job because the economy is so bad.
  • He/she is fine for now.  I know it won’t last but it’s better than being alone. (Holy crap – “fine?” You described someone you’re dating as “fine for NOW?!”)

Whatever your excuse is, maybe it’s time to look at your grip. Maybe it’s time to let go. It occurs to me that if something in your life requires a death-grip to keep it in your life, maybe it doesn’t belong in your life in the long-run.

I spoke about this on my business blog (Perfection versus Process) and here on Redheaded Fury ([Olive] Oil and Water). Yet the question keeps coming up. I have no doubt it’ll keep rearing it’s ugly-ass head as well.

What can you take the time today to let go of? Contemplate – as I’ve realized my focus on letting go has ushered some very welcome “keepers” into my life.

“If my hands are fully occupied in holding on to something, I can neither give nor receive.”

~ Dorothee Solle

9 replies
  1. Elisa Hebert
    Elisa Hebert says:

    Letting go is *scary*… after 8 years (6.5 too many) with a woman who wasn’t ever going to be who I wanted her to be, I finally let go, gave her the damn house, packed up all of my shit, moved across the country and married the woman of my dreams.

    So I totally agree. No time like today.

    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      Kick ASS, Elisa! And yes – sometimes I have good ideas. Others, I have two ex-husbands 🙂

      It’s all about perspective, no? It’s really incredible what can happen when you “make room” in your life, y’know?!

  2. Elisa Hebert
    Elisa Hebert says:

    It is in fact all about perspective 😉

    It’s hard to move the crap out of the way when it’s all you can see, and you have no clue what’s on the other side. But so, so worth it when you finally do.

  3. Mollie
    Mollie says:

    Effing brilliant… “If something in your life requires a death-grip to keep it in your life, maybe it doesn’t belong in your life in the long-run.”

    I, too, have found that letting go makes room for what does belong in my life to find me.

    Thanks for the great post!

  4. Emma
    Emma says:

    ‘It occurs to me that if something in your life requires a death-grip to keep it in your life, maybe it doesn’t belong in your life in the long-run.’ – That’s a fabulous line and I believe just what I needed to read/hear today. Here’s to letting go of stuff!!!


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