Swimming with the current

For as long as I have known myself fighting against the current is typical. I have never found myself literally stuck in a current out at sea however I have heard the warnings time and time again that if you fight against it you can lose your strength and face drowning. The idea is that if you find yourself caught in a current you are better off to  keep calm and swim along with it. The sheer thought of being stuck in a current freaks me out, let alone the thought of just letting yourself go with it.

It is for this reason and one other that I tend to keep the water level at my knees when I go to the beach.  The other reason that keeps me closer to shore is one afternoon as a teenager I went out a little deeper than usual whilst at the beach and was suddenly hit by a wave. The wave took me under and had my face smelling and tasting sand for what felt like forever. It was the scariest moment! Once I landed like a beached whale on shore my swim wear were not doing their job. It was humiliating.

Ever since that fateful day  I have played it safe closer to shore. Occasionally going a little deeper but mostly keeping away from sudden waves.

In life though just like everyone else, I don’t have the ability to keep myself safe from waves that hit. There is no telling at times when a strong current is going to come along and try and drown the life right out of me.

When difficulties arrive I tend to put on my internal fighting gloves and start fighting. I start fighting against everything out of my control. I may start to blame myself and harass my own brain with all of the what if’s?

Whether it is conflict with someone or trying difficult circumstances I tend to start using all of my own strength to try and make everything better. I hate difficulties and troubles.

Eventually when I wake up to the fact that I’m burning myself out,  I realise that there are just some things in life out of my control and I need to be reminded that occasionally LIFE just HAPPENS.

Life happens! Hurt happens! Conflict happens!

If life was up to me I would remove ALL of the painful and difficult trials.

It has taken me years to learn that there are battles I don’t have the strength to fight. There are battles that even if I were equipped with strength and power, no amount of my own efforts or energy was going to change the situation.

Personally I prefer life when it’s running smoothly. As it seems in those times I am able to be my best self. By best I mean relaxed, happy, motivated, driven and possibly more enjoyable to be around as a person.

I’m someone that likes to know where she is headed. When I am stuck in a current and quite a strong one at that it is difficult to remain calm. I have no idea where I am headed and every fear imaginable creeps into my mind.

It is a true testing time. It’s almost like an opportunity to remind yourself of all the other lessons in life you have learned OR it could be an opportunity to learn some new ones.

Have you ever been like me and wondered why someone couldn’t just put all of your answers on a piece of paper, how much easier would that be?

Recently I came across this quote:

 I believe in the sun

Even if it isn’t shining,

I believe in love

Even when I’m alone,

I believe in God even when He is silent…..

 

I love this quote as it reminds us to keep believing despite the absence we face at times.

In the midst of life’s currents we do lose sight of all the good things in life. The focus tends to be directed at getting through without drowning. It may not be the sea water you are grasping to stay afloat on but your emotions, thoughts and endless sea of doubts and questions.

It really is a time in which your feet are not on solid ground, but are swept up and all of you is desperately searching for somewhere to settle those feet again so that you can feel safe.

When we find ourselves trying to stay afloat in a current my own revelations have led me to believe that perhaps it is a time of change. I’m often someone who doesn’t go out of their way to create change it usually has to happen without my consent for it to take place.

My swept up self may end up being somewhere she had not planned to be if it were up to her. Yet here she is.

It is only after your feet finally settle somewhere that you can look back and recognise the answers to your WHY’s?, eventually….perhaps?

Storms, waves and currents tend to stir up everything around you. It is going to take time for things to settle. In that settling process things may end up being elsewhere. This creates change.

Anything shaken has the potential of changing position.

It was only this week that a friend of mine told me of her shock one morning when she arrived at work to news that the company has been bought out and will close down in under two months. It was unexpected and distressing for all of those employees. Each of them will find themselves navigating change in their lives when it comes to employment. My friend had been an employee in that company for 15 years. Suddenly her feet are uprooted not by her choice but someone else’s, completely out of her control.

If you are suddenly swept up by a current remember that those feet will settle again. Currents are scary and strong and at the same time teach you to remain calm in life. It is easier said than done yet there is no point using up all of your energies fighting against something that is out of your control.

Keep believing when all the answers are unseen and unknown.

You may even feel like a beached whale, however get up again and keep walking.

 Don’t worry about what others think!

Most importantly it is about not drowning or wearing yourself out,

 in the words of Dory “just keep Swimming”.

 ♥

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Mixed emotions…..

Mixed emotions can feel like pieces of you have just been cut up and put into a blender to be made into some kind of smoothie. Only this smoothie is bitter and tasteless, it’s one of those drinks you wouldn’t make for your worst enemy.

It sounds like a harsh recipe but life can be harsh sometimes!

When living through an extremely harsh time it can feel like you are slowly sipping that bitter tasteless smoothie by force. You don’t want to drink it but somehow it feels as though you’re being forced too.

While you are drinking this horrible drink you can see others enjoying their chocolate smoothie and you just wish you could swap with someone for just a moment and have a taste of something better instead of bitter.

The mixed emotions start to have a voice and all you can hear are the words “Why me?”

It’s difficult when emotions are skipping from sad to angry,  all the while hoping for  some happy every now and then.

The sad and angry emotions can feel like they are taking over and turning you into a different person. A person you never thought you would  be. You can feel scared of becoming  lost as your usual self isn’t around so much anymore.

When it comes to these mixed emotions you realise after sometime that you don’t get a switch to turn them off. There is no timer. There is no telling how long they are going to last.

Other questions begin to surface such as; what if, why was I so stupid, how can this happen, how is it possible to hurt so much.

When you are living with these mixed emotions it can feel as though strangers can read your private story because you feel so raw, vulnerable and broken.

Life takes on a sort of frozen state. You try  hard to get life back to normal but the sad and angry emotions have become your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You begin to remember life as it used to be when you didn’t need to deal with these emotions with such intensity. No amount of remembering brings you out of the current situation. It remains like a bad nightmare.

You realise after sometime that there is no quick fix through, any shortcuts or super heroes that will come and rescue you from this pain. As hard as we may fight against it, there is no winning until you get to the other side of it.

This my friend is  the story of grief……♥

When your world caves in.

There is nothing worse than finding yourself some place you never intended to be.  Although it can get worse when you don’t know how to get yourself out!

Life is such that even when we are doing our best suddenly the world can cave in on us.  It may feel as though someone just switched the light off.  Everything turns dark and suddenly you are forced to use your other senses to try navigating the situation as your eyes struggle to see.

It’s only normal to struggle seeing in the dark.

I find it very difficult navigating the house in the middle of the night when its pitch black. I might be convinced that the end of the bed finished in a certain spot and THEN suddenly the forgotten little toe manages to attack the corner of the bed like some wild animal. The excruciating pain that follows seals the deal in my mind that I will never do that again! Try telling that to the little toe and see if it remembers….

I’ve heard it said that when someone loses their sight they must rely on their other senses of hearing, touch, smell and taste. All of these others senses just grow in strength, so someone that can’t see can have exceptional abilities to hear.

When life caves in suddenly everything we relied on previously may not be available. We may be forced to look at things differently.  It could be someone you relied on, who was a part of your life in a very big way. When they were a part of your life there were certain things you didn’t need to consider as they took care of that. Whatever the reasons a person is no longer in your life it is up to you to take up the things they once took care of. This can be a very difficult season. It is almost as if parts of you that were not needed are forced into action,

almost like unused muscles.

At least when we ourselves choose to turn the light off there is some form of control in the situation but it is very challenging when someone else switches that light off.  You may have tried everything to make something work and all of your best efforts crumbled into a heap.

So what  helps  you in the dark?

When you find yourself in the dark rushing is definitely out of the picture. You can’t rush when everything is difficult to see. It’s a time of taking one step at a time, remaining calm and patient regardless of the million different emotions or thoughts that may try and entrap you into a corner.

It requires a lot of focus.

It may mean that you can only find a small little torch to use for the time being. Meaning that although you don’t have all the answers to the current storm in your life little steps can provide you with an ability to move forward rather than just sitting there waiting…. And feeling overwhelmed with fear and worry. While the little torch doesn’t compare to an actual light, it can give you a sense of comfort.  Just like when a storm causes the power to go out and you frantically search for every available candle. Having candles around the house when the lights have gone out brings a little relief. It is a time to remind yourself that while in the current moment it is impossible to see beyond your immediate situation, eventually storms pass and the lights come back on.

We can’t always understand the reasons for why life presents us with incredibly difficult seasons. It is only normal to ask questions when life caves in. It may take quite some time to come to grips with the ordeal.

Try not to do it all alone, reach out to people who are around you.

Most importantly remember it’s OK to not have it all together when your world caves in.

Just like sunrises and sunsets your life will come out of the dark and start shining again.