You know the phrase: “I’m at the end of my rope?”
We’ve all used it and we’ve certainly all been there. For me it conjures up images of Jr. High gym class, my classmates gathered around the bottom of a fat cluster of burlap fiber as I climbed upward with stinging hands.
I hated gym class, for me it was an hour designed to point out all the things I’m bad at, followed by a soul-sucking public shower with girls who didn’t like me with my clothes on thank you very much.
If anything ever sent me to “the end of my rope” it was the misery of that Junior High torture.
When we use this turn of phrase with each other we’re insinuating that there’s more rope than we can climb, or that there’s no more rope and we’re barely hanging on. We’re out of energy to climb upward or we’re about to let go of the rope because there isn’t anymore.
Either way what we really mean to say is that life’s giving us more than we can handle and the climbing can’t go on much longer.
Sometimes this is because of a central and all consuming heartache. Other times, there isn’t one central issue but the cumulation of little, constant struggles are what’s got us running out of rope.
Both of these seasons can be formative and completely awful. We climb and we fight until one day we wake up and realize that the waves are still coming and we’re plumb out of resolve.
This is when we typically use the “end of my rope” phrase. It’s because the idea of another day of climbing seems beyond us. It seems as though it would be easier to drop than to spend another day hanging on or trying to add strands to our rapidly fraying lifeline.