Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thoughts on Anchor Lines

The other day I was picturing myself as a spider in the middle of my web, looking at the anchor lines that securely suspended my web in its place.  I began to wonder, if this were "real" life, to what would my "web" be attached?  In other words, to what is my identity anchored? [1]

I suppose being a wife would be one anchor (identity) line, but there was a time in life when I was not a wife.  Being a mother is another anchor line, but there was also a time when I wasn't a mother.  Musical ability, serving at church, my faith, being a lifelong learner... all of these form my identity and are anchor lines in a sense, but I began to wonder - what if they were all taken away?  Who am I at my core?  Is it possible that these anchor lines can become idols to which I attach TOO strongly?

I began to visualise removing these anchor lines one at a time...  What if I were no longer a musician? My spider web began to wave in the breeze as the anchor lines were removed one by one until it was completely cut loose and I was clinging to my web for dear life, floating through the air wondering where I would land.

As I completed this contemplative imagination, my web landed somewhere dark, but warm and completely secure.  There was a constant rhythm and my web swelled in and out to match this rhythm.  I couldn't see, but for some reason I didn't need to.  I was perfectly content.  My web had landed, stuck to the very heart of God.

For me, it's fine (and healthy) to have attachments and a sense of identity in my relationships or in what I do, as long as I don't forget who I am at my core - a child of God.  As long as I can see the Imago Dei in myself and in others, the rest is all secondary.

1. The original idea of spiderweb anchor lines as a metaphor for lines of power/identity came from a class discussion at Coram Deo.

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