Security Blankets

I hated sleepovers in elementary school. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to spend that much time away from her mother. My mom always encouraged me to go (made me) because one, I imagine she needed a break from me following her around, and two, she knew that my only friend couldn’t be her. But before she would drop me off, she would tuck an article of her clothing into my pillowcase so that she was still “with” me and so that none of the other kids could see it. Then when it was time to go to bed and the lights were off, I could pull out my mom-scented talisman and count the minutes until it was time to be the first one up and out of there.
 
Other than having a penchant for public humiliation, I share this story as I recently came across an old email from my sister where she shared a quote from Marilyn Ferguson about the uncomfortable space that exists between what is and what will be: “It’s not so much that we're afraid of change, or so in love with the old ways, but it's the place in between that we fear...it's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.” So in a very literal sense, I attached deeply to this notion of the security blanket, the mom-scented talisman, as much as I did to the larger takeaway
the anxiety of that often too roomy distance between now and later.
 
Can we navigate this life holding onto security blankets
the relationships, the memories, the emotions, the opinions, all the stuff? Or do we use them to tether ourselves so neatly to that place of what is (or what used to be) that we can’t get to that place of what will be? When do we take inventory and switch them out or throw them out altogether? When do we hang onto them because they fortify us to move forward with actual security and courage?
 
The short answer, other than I don’t know, seems to be frustratingly just another question: does this [security blanket] add more value to my life or others’ or take away? When I hold everything up to that singular question, I get a lot of information quickly. Whether I choose to do anything with it is another story. Some days I’m not interested in asking the question, the sense of urgency just isn’t there. Other days it feels like a necessity. I try not to read too much into that either. It’s all up for examination at some point or another
maybe today, maybe not today.

The beauty of it all, no matter the answer
yes, this adds value so I’m keeping it; no, this does not add value so I’m letting it go; or even (often) no, this does not add value and I’m keeping itis that it won’t be wrong. It may mean a few more days or years in the space between trapezes or a few more minutes that the blanket is in the dryer, but what happens next will come. It always does.