The McGraw Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs defines this term as surviving something threatening through strained endurance, that is to say, holding on tight!
I used to live my life “white knuckling” my way through every difficult situation. I lived that way for 50+ years afraid, trying to control, predict, and will, every outcome to be what I wanted it to be. And guess what? All that worry, stress, and anxiety didn’t change a thing. Sometimes things turned out great, and sometimes they didn’t, and I wore myself out trying to control and plan each and every step of my life. What I failed to realize is that from the minute I was conceived, my journey was pre-determined by a “Power” far greater than I could ever comprehend. Every experience, both good and bad was intended for me to learn something and prepare me for the next experience. It was intentional for me to have all those experiences, to mold me into the woman, wife, mother, and friend I am right now.
Today ironically, I watched a short video on Facebook of women talking to an interviewer about how they viewed themselves as mothers. Not surprising, each woman expressed how they wished they could be better. Be more patient. They were afraid they were doing a bad job. They wanted to listen more intently when their children spoke to them, and give them more of their time, and do everything perfe
ct. Then they brought their children in and interviewed each of the children asking them to describe their moms. The words they used were “hero”, “awesome”, “best friend”, “fun”, “love” “best ever”. The descriptors were the complete opposite of how the mothers saw and described themselves. What the children said and how they said it made me cry because it reminded me that as women, we all need to loosen that grip around our necks and give ourselves air to breathe and permission for a little imperfection, and fun. Our children love us just the way we are!
At the generosity of two dear friends, last week I had the privilege to spend five days in Hopetown in the Bahamas with my husband, those friends, and another couple that are also dear friends. We talked, walked, drank, watched too much NCAA basketball, ate, boated, swam, played and danced like spring breakers circa 1980 at Nippers, and took just a little time to relax, have fun, and smell the salty fresh air. I even convinced the captain and crew late Sunday afternoon to boat another 10-20 nautical miles to go see the pigs that could swim. I have always known they could fly and now I have pictures to prove they can swim too! It was worth every minute of the “white knuckle” whip lashing, body slamming, very chilly, 90 minute boat ride back in 12-14 mph winds to have completed the absolutely most perfect day ever with people I am blessed to love and call friends.
About the picture above, yes that wave went over our heads and pummeled us, soaking us to the bones with pretty darn cold water. A couple of years ago there wasn’t a chance in hell I would have climbed on slippery, sharp coral, barefoot, to take that photo, and risk getting soaked, my hair wet, or fall. As I grow in my faith, I trust and have learned to let go a little more. All I can say now is” Look Ma No Hands!”