Don’t Clutch At Straws

I think I’m beginning to grasp at a far deeper level that when I find myself in a place of desperation, struggling to find a way forward, the last thing to do is to grab at any straw offered. To do so is to interfere with that mysterious shaping process that I know goes on within me.

The key lesson I’m learning in moments like these is how to remain calm and composed, listening and watching for the way to be revealed. It’s often been my experience that the way forward has just quietly eased and revealed itself in to my consciousness, at its own time and pace. Times when I clutched at straws and forced the situation, things inevitably turned sour.

So, when moments of desperation come, try to calmly go about those normal little acts and duties of living, listening and watching. The way is germinating and will be revealed at the appropriate time. I suppose all this is rather foreign in a world where control and “making it happen” is the name of the game.

But let me also say, be very careful of offering people straws. You may just be interfering with something far deeper going on in their lives.


About Don

My name is Don Scrooby and I live in the United Kingdom. I have a deep love for nature and open spaces and one of my great loves in life is sketching, particularly in pen and water colour and occasionally in pencil. I’m quite new at the art and I sketch mainly from photographs I’ve taken, but also enjoy outdoor sketching. My sketchbooks, although no great shakes, are important to me and I decided to create my blog in order to share some of their contents with those who may be interested.
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22 Responses to Don’t Clutch At Straws

  1. Hudson Howl says:

    So true, yet despite morals and fables of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ fame, grasping for straws is totally knee jerk. To, not to grasp can be a great feat; glad you share what you have discovered. maybe now when hell comes knocking with basket in hand , I’ll remember this. Am fairly calm in times that matter, but once in a while and out of no where, an situation will arise -freeway, congesting traffic and watching the clock will test one’s metal.


  2. ladyfi says:

    So profound and wise!


  3. Jenny Sprong says:

    The temptation to ‘clutch at a straw’ is so human, though. Human beings are fearful of changes and challenges. To listen and go about doing the simple things of day-to-day life sounds like great advice. Blessings to you, Don.


  4. snowbirdpress says:

    There was a popular song awhile ago that had a line in it: “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy!” I’ve always loved that line… it’s saved me from myself more times than you know.


  5. nrhatch says:

    Yes! Be patient as the path unfolds before you. 😀


  6. Very wise to not grasp at straws (and be wary of those offering them) and rather go about life as we wait for insight. As you put it so well: “So, when moments of desperation come, try to calmly go about those normal little acts and duties of living, listening and watching.” This is a very helpful concept, that I have done at times without much thought, but now I will endeavour to do it more consciously. Thank you.


    • Don says:

      Thanks for sharing your insight Gina. Glad that it’s helpful, but also that it kind of seems natural for you to do. I think that’s wonderful.


  7. Greg says:

    Jackson Browne….takin it easy……….that was the song snowbird.
    C’mon baby, don’t say maybe,
    don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy….


  8. Katy says:

    Especially where our children are concerned we just want to “make it all go away” but we rob them of learning how to cope with the rough and tumble of life and the chance to ” be calm,composed and listen and watch. Excellent advice Don. Thankyou.


    • Don says:

      Thanks Katy. You hit the nail right on the head. I think we do at times intervene far too quick with our children and deny them the opportunity of growing their coping skills. Good insight. Thank you.


  9. lyn Stephenson says:

    I think clutching or grasping at anything in life is detrimental; even something that is slowly revealed to us or has evolved in its own time. It may be the right way, but the way we engage it is still crucial to the outcome.

    I always enjoyed your symbol of the open hand approach to decision making and choices, rather than the closed fist.


    • Don says:

      I like what you say Lyn about clutching and holding on to even the thing that is slowly revealed. As you say, clutching and grasping at anything is detrimental. I suppose the open hand approach is what it is, an attitude to everything that comes along. Insightful, thanks Lyn.


  10. Beautifully stated. 🙂


  11. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Hmmm ‘moments of desperation’ do come, they do. But yes, composing yourself so that ‘the way forward’ can come to you is great. It’s like a butterfly fluttering around you all in a tizz, but if you just be still, the truth & the way will settle on your shoulder…


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