Finding the Right Tools

I am starting today’s blog slightly different than usual. Normally, I post a kaleidoscope photograph near the title. Today the photo is not a kaleidoscope. This hammer is a piece of art created by Jordan Gayle Dodd. Jordan is an artist in Tennessee, she made this from wire and copper, it is entitled Paved Paradise. Jordan’s mother and I are friends, and like all good mothers she shared her daughters art on social media. Jordan was kind enough to allow me to use the photo of her work for this article. Thank you Jordan for sharing your work with us. If you would like to see more of Jordan’s work, she features it on her Instagram page, JGDart_. It is challenging to create something from nothing – I think you did a great job! Your hammer inspired my thoughts.

Sometimes You Need a Bigger Hammer

I saw the picture of Jordan’s hammer and it spoke to me. I recall my dad saying “get a bigger hammer” while I was growing up. Sometimes he was kidding, when a project wasn’t working, but sometimes a bigger hammer was exactly what he needed. My awesome dad, who was always building or working on something, would use that expression if the project he was he was working on needed a little more muscle and strength than a smaller hammer provided. Get a bigger hammer. I have done that in my life, you probably have too. There are times in life when we need more power, more force to make something happen. So, we get a bigger hammer, and we get it done (whatever it was).

And Sometimes You Don’t

This piece of art reminded me that sometimes we need the exact opposite. Sometimes a bigger hammer will destroy what you are working on, while a gentler nudge might have been exactly what you needed. I think we are like that. I know I am. A bigger hammer, trying to force me into what you want me to do or be…. yeah, it doesn’t work so well. But the kinder, gentler touch…. asking me, talking to me… yes that works so much better. It makes me wonder why I try to use a bigger hammer with others when I should not? I do not know, for kinder and gentler just seems better when you are talking about people. I am not going to tell you that it always works for me or for anyone else, but it certainly does a great percentage of the time.

Taking Care of Each Other

Relationships are delicate, they need love, care and attention. And when we struggle in relationships, we need to find a gentler touch. I think Jordan’s hammer is beautiful. But look at how delicate it is. It would seem that she has wound wires together to create this work. One good WACK and I would expect it to fold. She could probably fix it with her tools. But it would still have that weak spot from that WACK. I think people are like that. Even when we work hard to forgive, we still hurt. We will heal, but imagine how much stronger that hammer would have been had someone carried it with gentleness and kindness rather than strength and force. Try it the next time you get frustrated with someone you love, try thinking about this gentle hammer and respond in love. I will do the same, because I still try to get a bigger hammer when one is not needed. Like you, I am a work in progress and sometimes the progress is slow, but I have forward momentum and you remember how much we like that. You can read about forward momentum here if you like.

Thank you for hanging out with me today. Be blessed my friends.

Published by Dr. Cindy Freer Conley

Hello Friends! I am Dr. Cindy Freer Conley, and I am so glad you are here! It is so nice to "meet" you. I am entering the world of blogging for the first time, I hope you find these readings worthwhile, helpful and entertaining. I have spent my career in one role or another of the mental health and counseling world. I have worked in private practice and in schools settings. I hold a PhD in Exceptional Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. I currently work in public education full time and adjunct part-time. I am a wife and the mother of three adult children and the grandmother of one young lady who is growing up way too fast. I didn't have all of the answers as a mother, although my kids would probably tell you I faked it often (I did). I don't have all of the answers now, but I do know so much more now than I did 27 years ago when I became a parent. I was a single mother for several years, and learned a lot about the unique struggles single parents face. I have spent time with great supports and time where I felt alone on my path - only to look up and realize I was never alone. We are all on a journey, enjoy the journey, but understand small changes on your part may make lasting impacts to someone else's journey.

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