One day, while speaking to a friend on the phone, the phrases “waiting for the last straw“ and “the straw that broke the camel’s back“ came to me as my friend described what she was experiencing. I began thinking to myself, a big fat WHY. Why do we wait for the straw to break the camel’s back or the final straw before we take action? Is it necessary to wait till then or can we do something sooner?
What happens when we choose to wait for the straw and the camel?
In some cases we are giving our power away, our right to choose. Whether it’s to another person – or to the proverbial camel! – we still may not be reacting in our best interest.
The phrase above is hard to trace back but some findings are as early as the 17th century and some notations from the 1800’s. It’s 2016 and time to rethink it. Here’s why:
I believe that when we listen to the messages, clues, advice, facts, and our instinct we know much sooner that change is imminent. We also know the action we need to take before we reach the point where we get so fed up, so angry that it is hard to recover. Know thyself, trust thyself. My point is not to set a religious tone, but to emphasize this fact: When you know yourself, you know your answers.
Quite often, we resist sharing what we feel with each other. When we avoid saying what needs to be said, wait and drag things out, our relationships tend to get a whole lot messier! We leave jobs in a huff when we could have – once again – taken care of the issues that bothered us. We say things to our children that we later regret when all we really needed to do was speak up, speak up, speak up!
Here is my new revelation: Maybe it took the final straw to move us, to get us so disgusted that we did leave in a huff or finally end a relationship. What I am saying here is: Listen. Don’t wait if you don’t have to. If you do choose to wait for the straw, then do your best to look at whatever you are doing as going in the right direction. There are situations that we are in that do turn us upside down and inside out, but you are the best judge. The important thing is to give yourself credit for taking the action.
So remember: We place meaning on what we do, think, and feel. If the straw is final and you had to get to the last one, OK, so be it. It’s time for a new straw. If it breaks, that’s OK. Build again. As long as you are in your heart, are going about it with all you know and have in that moment, good for you. Remember listen and act when you can. New beginnings are within your reach.