Large Life Lessons from a Small Stupid Splinter

When was the last time you got a splinter? I can’t remember mine, but having spent the better part of the last precious hour I didn’t think I had in trying to remove one, I was blessed with seeing the life messages it presented me.

I used to get splinters all the time when I was little and my dad called them a splinter in your “finner.” I remember mom and I would bend over the dumb thing, almost drooling with concentration.

We were both younger. I could see what I was doing without magnification. Mom celebrated these intimate moments, I think, almost as much as squeezing my blackheads. Funny what you remember.

Mom and I were both determined to remove the splinter. And we fought to wield our weapon of choice. She liked tweezers. I chose a sewing needle. Not a pin. Heavens, no. We used to burn the needle and tweezers to sterilize them back then. I wonder if they had peroxide in those days…?

So many thoughts poured through me and the parallels to our lives kept shoving through my consciousness as I pretty much bullied the thing out of my finger. Blood flooded the gouge. My glasses got fogged over with my hot breath urging the thing out but to no avail. Could I ignore it? Not a chance. It was a battle of wits. A fight to the finish. Good versus evil. My honor was at stake. I was a splinter remover of note, having removed dozens over my young, reckless childhood. Yay for reckless childhoods. Do we even allow those now?

A splinter is a metaphor for life’s challenges. Some people take them head-on, and won’t give up until they’re overcome or removed. Some people put up with them. Letting them fester and get infected. Others don’t want to take on the excruciating pain (you know it’s still in there because it hurts like hell when you touch it) of digging underneath and pushing, pulling, or sucking it out. (I was never successful at that last one). Softening. the skin by soaking.

  • Perseverance
  • Lots of light
  • Magnification
  • Focus
  • Patience
  • Correct tools
  • Eating (I’d skipped breakfast)
  • Managing Pain
  • Relief
  • Satisfaction (I got it, finally)
  • Removal of an offending problem
  • Hurry is a hazard
  • Memories of Mom and Dad
  • Carving time
  • Softening by soaking

I’m not a soften-by-soaking person. nor am I patient. I don’t usually give into little things, but alas, I was felled like Goliath by a tiny David of a sliver.  The episode is over, but its teachings helped me understand more about myself.

Let me know about your last “sliver” and what you did. OR, let me know if you’re David or Goliath. Which one do you want to be?

Love to hear from you.

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