The Velcro Principle

Hi everyone

When you want two things to stick together, look no further than Velcro. That stuff works doesn’t it! Once tightly secured, it requires a good effort to pull them apart and it’s noisy.

Did you know that Velcro was invented in 1941 by George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer? The idea came to him after he took a close look at the burrs which kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur when walking in the Alps. He called the invention Velcro after the French words velours (meaning velvet) and crochet (hook).

What made me think of this? Why, I’m glad you ask…

I was pondering how people become stuck in their lives and it reminded me of Velcro. When you’re unable to move forward, it’s as if you are velcroed to the floor! It keeps you fixed on the spot but requires a bit of force to overcome the resistance when you want to break free.

Perhaps this sounds like you or someone close? When someone in your life is unable to move forward or make needed changes, it helps to think of them as suffering from too much Velcro. This is obviously not a diagnosed disorder… as yet!

I’m not a fan of reality TV but whenever ‘Hoarders’ comes on the box, I find myself watching. As someone who won the office OCD award for most tidy desk, it’s difficult to understand how people can hang on to so much stuff! But hoarding is a real mental disorder that causes people to accumulate so many things around them that they often can’t move in their own homes. They don’t want to live like that but are unable to do anything about it.

When the cleaning crew and psychologists get to work trying to clear the person’s hoard, you realise that all the clutter on the outside is a manifestation of stuff being suppressed on the inside. The hoarder is often emotionally stuck, sometimes in the past, protecting themselves from their feelings with lots of things.

Once the clutter starts to be cleared, you see a weight being lifted from the person. Inevitably though, all the suppressed emotions rise to the surface like the ghosts of Christmas past (Charles Dickens). Interestingly, all the hoarding has been distracting them from their feelings and when the cocoon is removed, they are forced to deal with them. If they can work through this positively, they can then let go and make space for a new way of being.

When you are stuck and you’re not sure what to do, sometimes it helps to just do something, anything…to break the inertia. Clear out a cupboard, or a storage room, throw broken things away. Give old clothing to charity. If you have clutter get rid of it!

Do one thing that is hard to do or that you’ve put off for a long time. Doing something differently causes a shift inside yourself. Try it and see what happens. Take a step forward even though there’s resistance. It might not be the right thing or the perfect thing but it will create a change in energy, which leads to more changes and then you’re on your way.

If you do feel stuck in your life, you are not alone. Change can be uncomfortable for us humans. We fear the unknown. Don’t wait for the perfect time, there isn’t one. Don’t fear mistakes, they’re great teachers. Make some space, move forward and see what happens.

Take care and be kind to each other


P.S. There’s no vaccine for Velcro disorder…

Share your thoughts?