GRAPPLE: To grapple means to tussle with and, as with a grappling hook, to dredge from under water. I love that these two definitions are contained within this word conjuring images of childhood skirmishes and ancient battle relics lost at sea. When adults grapple, the connotation is that they are struggling between two ways of being that have import. Whatever they are grappling with MATTERS, either to themselves or to someone else or to the society at large. When a woman uses the word grapple with me, my ears perk up. I love a good grapple. Why? Well, as a coach I want my clients to get to the truth. And when we are grappling with something important, we begin to lower that grappling hook until it comes close enough to dredge up what wants to emerge. Do any of these grapplings resonate with you?
“I had to grapple with my NEED to write this story and the HURT it would cause my partner if I wrote about our relationship.”
“I grappled with being ready enough to call this artwork 'done' in order TO PLEASE the buyer when I didn’t feel it was complete yet.”
“I was grappling with LETTING GO of the idea my career would look like something else, so I can be present to what is available to me now.”
“I am grappling with the question of WHY I DO THIS work so I can be in alignment and not feel like an imposter.
“I was grappling with what next step to take, since what I am doing now is NO LONGER VIABLE, isn’t socially VALUED, and isn’t making the kind of IMPACT I want to make.”
There is a lot of tumult in those sentences. And you can sense that in each statement something is at stake. They are calling “bullshit” on themselves. They aren’t tussling with fluff, they are looking for the truth within themselves that will free them from the terrible feeling of of MISALIGNMENT. And - this is important - they are WILLING TO RISK THE CONSEQUENCES of their decision to act from that truth. The consequences might sound something like this:
“My performance of this story may end my marriage.”
“I might piss off my client if I do not deliver this work until I decide that it is complete."
“I will take the time I need to grieve. That might be challenging for my family.“
“I will only make work that matters to me and that contributes to my healing. That might generate some painful backlash from my fans.”
“I will no longer make work that is not sustainable financially. That might I won't have the same level of public regard."
Notice that the consequences are hypothetical at this stage. Once you arrive on the other side of grappling, once you've dredged up your ancient truth from the sea floor and brought it into the light of day, you can celebrate your bravery. Once you are traveling in the direction of your dreams, and the wind is at your back, you'll have a view of the horizon. From here you can finally see all that BECOMES POSSIBLE. What are you grappling with? What is the risk you are willing to take to set sail on your next adventure?