This post is dedicated to Lulu, you know how much you mean to me and how much I love you.
Yesterday was a little rough. I don’t think there’s any hiding from that. As I mentioned, there were two voices battling in my head, and the harsher of the two reared its ugly head. But in a brief exchange with my therapist, she shared an interesting video with me. After viewing it, a flood of thoughts rushed into my mind, and I wanted to share them with you.
Imagine your life as a voyage. You’re rowing in a boat in the sea of life. On this voyage, we all have some destination we’re headed to – goals, dreams, ambitions, the entire assortment.
But sometimes, you can lose sight of where you’re supposed to be headed. You float around aimlessly adrift at sea. As voyagers and explorers, we all carry with us certain “monsters” or demons – sadness, pain, anger, regret, fear, anxiety – our own motley crew.
These unwanted companions strike a deal with you – they’ll willingly relegate themselves below deck but only as long as you keep the ship wandering aimlessly with few bumps or disturbances. The minute you start to chart a course towards your “island” of hope, happiness, love, or dreams, they’ll begin to ascend onto the deck and consume your thoughts and time. Sounds like an easy enough deal, right?
As the captain of my ship though, I have a choice.
Often, I succumb to the ransoms of my undesirable crew. I continue with the status quo and let the waves keep my boat afloat but directionless. There’s the benefit, though, that I don’t have to deal with my fears or difficult emotions. It can be quite exhausting after all, and I have finite energy and resources. Why even try to deal with them? It’s far less bothersome to acquiesce to the demands of the monsters. Living in the present, though, becomes herculean. Moreover, my desire to achieve fulfilment, happiness, love, and peace becomes shrouded in a blanket of cloudiness and drear.
You may ask – what’s the other side of the coin?
I can choose to be a brave captain. No, not a fearless skipper – for it is only when we’re afraid that we can ever truly be brave. But I can opt to accept my crewmates for who they are – ugly, scary monsters – and push on towards my port of purpose. With that intention comes the eventuality that my not-so-dear friends will start to present themselves increasingly, however, there is another consequence that could arise from it.
By braving the storm intentionally cast by my turbulent thoughts and emotions, there is a possibility of a clearer and brighter horizon. With time, commitment, and intentional effort, I could come to the realization that these “monsters” are not so ugly and scary after all. When the deluge subsides, and I approach my destination closer and closer, I’ll realize that I am not my demons. They’re simply a part of me that I can accept and live with.
I’m not saying that it will all be smooth sailing. Along the way while some crew members will depart, new ones will also embark on the journey with me bringing their own unique challenges with them. Yet I can breathe a little easier knowing that they are not an unsolvable puzzle – they’re another opportunity for me to be my own hero. I know this won’t be easy and things are rarely so straightforward, but I wanted to write about my introspection because it so perfectly typifies what life is all about.
This is life. It is heartbreak at the loss a lover, and it is elation when you embrace the people you love. It is sobs and tears when you feel like nothing is going right, and it is joy and laughter when you’re with those that matter the most. It is the nights you spend walking down a desolate street when you feel like no one understands you, and it is the moments when you take a breath and realize that it is a miracle to even be alive. I know that I will fall again, and I will love again; I will laugh again, and I will cry again; I will hurt again, and I will heal again. But this is life.
What tomorrow holds, I can never know. But hey, isn’t it worth finding out?