In So Many Words

Info-Comics by Larry Paros

Stretching Yourself

Attention everyone! That means you. When you come to attention, you pull upward from the Latin tendere, "to stretch" and ad, "to or towards." Paying attention pulls you out of yourself, towards what's significant – there are, after all, matters to which you have to attend.

Start with your body. There you'll find tensor muscles and tendons needing to be stretched; but only if you have the intention of doing so. Increasing flexibility in all areas of your life is a challenge with which you need to contend, from contendere, stretching (con) "with all your strength."

Your tendency or bent, however, is not to do so, creating tension between staying with what you are comfortable and reaching for the new and the different – a pull which at times threatens to tear you apart. It's all quite intense – a real tug on your emotions. No wonder you feel like you are on tenterhooks – a frame for stretching cloth held by hooks – leaving you strained emotionally.

Life, however, continues to ask you to extend yourself, "stretch or reach (ex) "outward" – towards the heroic. Beware of self-deception. It would be a stretch to say you had extended yourself, when you had merely gone through the motions. That would be "stretching things a bit (pre) before (the fact)" – making for an out-and-out pretense.

No one said it would be easy. A stretch is a "distance," and we all have "a stretch to go." Progress is slow but sure. Each day you'll see movement in new and different directions. What these signs portend is that you can "stretch or look (por) forward" to a day when growth is a central theme in your life – and not just a stretch of your imagination. Blessed be the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.