“I realize I’m holding the divorce card in my pocket, and I need to get rid of it.”
It was a confession inviting accountability among those who were listening. The woman wasn’t proud of the card she was holding as an option. She humbly admitted in order to fully try to resolve a situation, she needed to set aside the option to get out. She needed to refuse the escape clause.
For her, it was a divorce card, but there can be so many other cards we carry with us “just in case.” We list a variety of situations in which we will use our card, and we believe we are fully justified, mainly because of what the other person does. We feel out of control because of what someone else can do–because others always have the freedom to make their own decisions, even those that impact us–so we cling to control by reserving a rarely-stated but powerfully-threatening card that we will pull out faster than the yellow penalty card on the soccer field. Even if we haven’t been wronged, we know there is potential, so we reserve the right to strike back.
But holding that card takes room in our lives, especially emotionally.
Maybe you’re not quite ready to ask someone to hold you accountable to get rid of the card you’re holding “just in case,” but at the very least, be honest with yourself about the card you’re holding. Count the cost of it.