Susie and her older sister went for a walk on the country road near her home. As they stepped onto the arched bridge that spanned a rushing creek, Susie stopped midstride. Her sister, not realizing she was now alone on the bridge, just kept walking and talking about the grim problems they each faced in life.
Susie had brought along a long rope with one end tied securely around her waist, the rest looped over her shoulder. Taking the rope in her hands, she walked up to her sister and held out the other end of the long rope.
“Here, hold this for me,” she said glumly. Not a word of explanation, just the short, terse request.
When the other woman reached out in surprise and took the rope end, Susie turned on her heel and walked over to the side of the bridge. She climbed up on the short railing as her sister watched in confusion. And then, before her sister could react to what she was seeing, Susie simply leaned forward and fell as far the rope around her waist would allow.
As she dangled there in mid-air, high above the foaming water and huge boulders, her sister rushed to the railing, screaming in panic for Susie. She struggled to not let Susie fall to her death, but the rope was slowly slipping thru her hands and creating deep, painful burns.
Short of breath, and terrified she couldn’t hold on much longer, the older sister screamed “Susie, what are you doing?!!!” But Susie wasn’t struggling or pleading for help, she was just calmly and limply hanging there. She then looked up and said quietly, “Just hold the rope for me, sis. Just hold the rope.” No explanation, just, “Hold the rope, sis. Just hold on to the rope.”
Inexplicable behavior, isn’t it?
But if you have ever found yourself in a relationship with someone who has decided to figuratively hand you one end of their rope, leap over the side of the bridge and just simply hang there – then you can identify with the older sister. The Susie in your life has made you the keeper of her rope and refuses to help herself. ‘Trapped’ doesn’t even begin to describe your feelings. You know exactly how that sister felt.
So what do you do, when your Susie is just hanging out and you are hanging on for dear life – with deepening burns on your hands? You’re feeling like you can’t just walk away and live your life, ‘cause you have to stand there - holding her rope.
Realize that this situation is what your Susie has chosen. Realize you are not accountable for her predicament - she is. Realize you have the right, and the responsibility to tell her that you will no longer hold her rope. Make your Susie – not you - take responsibility for the choices and lifestyle that she picked.
Choices. We all make them, good and bad.