What we do to ourselves sometimes can’t be undone on our own

I was visiting my in-laws one evening when I saw this post on my newsfeed. It was from my 18-year-old son. He said:

“I just walked past my parent’s room and heard my 4 year old sister Sarah crying. My parents are gone so I thought she was in there waiting for Mom to get home. I tried to open the door but it was locked, so when I got into the room with a key and asked what was wrong, I saw that she had tied the ribbon of her dress to their bed. As I was struggling to untie it she said:

‘I’na good tie-er. Wanna know why I tied myself to the bed? … Because Bethany was being mean to me.’

“That was the only explanation she gave. I guess the moral of the story is don’t be mean to your little siblings or they might lock themselves in a room and tie themselves to furniture with knots that they can’t undo on their own.”


Indeed, sometimes our reaction to life’s disappointments and frustrations becomes the real source of our problems. We can really complicate matters when we react instead of responding with calculated choice of thought.

Life will disappoint us, and frustrations are inevitable.  Our power to rise above such problems, however, does not lie in the circumstances themselves, but in how we respond to them.

And, as explained in Hidden Treasures, Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free download), the larger the problem, the greater the opportunity.

So, I echo my son’s moral, and remind us all to apply it to the world of adults:

If life is mean to YOU, don’t tie yourself up in knots that you can’t undo on your own.

Success is not a measure of how many problems we avoid; it’s a measure of how well we respond to the problems we have.

If you feel like you’re already “tied up” in some way, pat yourself on the back for being a good “tie-er” (be kind to yourself!) …and then get some help. You don’t have to stay stuck forever.

To see how I might be able to help, and to learn how to choose your thoughts carefully in a crisis for the best possible outcome, visit ProsperTheFamily.com Originally published November 29, 2010

Leslie Householder
Latest posts by Leslie Householder (see all)

15 Responses

  1. I’m so totally untied at this stage in life, with the one beautiful eternal knot with my companion, the myriad of knots-gone-bye serve to remind me of the strength and wisdom in the message you shared! How truly beautiful. Another “wish I’d said that…” Keep ’em coming!

  2. This just popped into my inbox this morning. I had a big disappointment last week. I had planned a trip and (too long a story for now) it fell apart and I couldn’t go. Well, did I kick up a stink, I ranted and raved, blamed others, blamed myself, even blamed God for not taking care of things on my behalf. Yes, the fact I couldn’t go on my trip (with 13 friends) was devastating as I haven’t had a holiday for approx. 3 years (with a long-term relationship breakup, selling up my lovely home and moving to a much smaller unit, having to make new friends and find a new church happening in this period). Why did it happen, why did I fail, wow is me, don’t I deserve? I dealt with the getting home and all the practical stuff required, but the emotional stuff and disappointment just overwhelmed me and I spent the next 5-6 days totally down and out.
    It is not what happens but how we deal with it, thanks for this message.

  3. Wow, what an inspiring story! As I was reading it I was thinking about how I have done this in my own life. In fact, it is happening right now. I am looking to the future for something to happen so that I can do something else I want to do. I have “tied myself up” and am holding myself back from going for what I really want. I am now patting myself on the back for being a good employee for 20+ years and at the same time getting help with your wonderful program. Thank you – Thank you!

  4. We call this “cut off your nose to spite your face” at our home and unfortunatly have to remember that nothing is so bad that you can’t make it worse by responding poorly too it. Thanks so much for sharing what a great way to remember not to make things worse by tying ourselves up– 🙂 Love it

  5. That is so funny and so totally applicable! I love what you said, “The fact is, life will disappoint us, and frustrations are inevitable.” That’s life, so deal with the frustrations by believing that out of bad comes good, and learning to be happy no matter the circumstances. Something I am working on and getting better at everyday!

  6. A sweet and empowering message all the way around……I love the big brother part, and how he cared. And of course, the reminder via a 4 year old, that how I react to problems is the “moral of the story”. Thanks for the encouragement and insight.

  7. Hi, thank you for the wisdom shared. An open mind allows the wisdom to settle in me; the truth is the challenge – it’s always there and I have to rise to the occasion at all times. Thank you.

  8. Hello,
    Hope this day finds you happy and healthy. Your definition of success is inspiring and timely as confirmation of recent lessons learned. Much appreciated.
    Thanx Ed

  9. Ahhh, how true! So many times I’ve tied myself to the furniture with a knot I could not untie by myself! But you know something? I have this evidence of God’s love for me…He has always sent me a Big Brother (how Biblical!!!), or someone, who is able to set me free from my own folly! When I was young, I was extremely independent, and I didn’t WANT anybody’s help! But with the love of the ones who have helped me, I have healed from that, too, and am hoping to make equal or greater contributions to my world, much of it from my own experiences! I don’t recommend getting ourselves into troubles for the experiences’ sake, but if we find ourselves in a fix, at least we have the option of learning something from it, and teaching from this experience so others may profit from it, too. That seems to be the “purpose” of keeping journals, and the purpose of prophets who have written scripture: so we may learn from others’ experiences and avoid the same mistakes. At least I hope so.

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