After her first lesson, one of my newer students started a practice piece in one by one ribbing. The following week she came to class, dismayed at an error she had made. After working a lovely ribbing for several inches, she'd lost a stitch, and her knit one purl one no longer lined up in neat columns. There was a messy bit as the patterns adjusted, but after several rows, her fabric settled into the pattern we know as seed stitch. The other students commented on how pretty the seed stitch looked, but it wasn't what she'd intended, so she ripped it out and started again focusing on making those stitches line up just so. Knitting is great that way. Just rip out the part you don't like and do it over again. Take two. Take three. Whatever. If only life were so simple.
Things don't always go as we plan. We make mistakes, we suffer heartbreak, and we experience loss and grief that destroys our world as we know it. Everything is in shambles, and our life is changed forever. Step by step and day by day, we continue to move through the wreckage. The landscape is unfamiliar; it's not what we wanted, and nothing is as it's supposed to be. But we navigate our life because we must. Life is not knitting. We cannot simply rip out the past and rework it to suit. Life is linear, and we can only move forward. And as we do, a new pattern emerges. We get to a new normal.
In the new normal, everything looks very different. The stitches of our life don't line up as they did, but in a new way. It's not as we planned, but it can still be beautiful. We have to work at making it beautiful, and we have to work at seeing it so. Our psychological health and well being depends on it. It's a process, and there will be many rows before the beauty of the new normal reveals itself, but it always does. We just have to be willing to work through the transition and be open to seeing it.