The news is bad. We’re overwhelmed, suffering, trying to cope without the right tools. We just need a hand up, a friend alongside us. We just need to know we’re not alone, and a reason to believe it will get better.
We feel like we’re drowning.
The storm hits, the hurricane comes in, and with it comes the dark. The scary. The unknown. The ugly, doesn’t-belong-here, never-asked-for-this stuff.
Our Paradise is lost in the mire.
And we can’t catch our breath. Because as soon as we come up for air, another wave crashes over us, the tidal waves pull us down, the ebb and flow is not a smooth lake but a waterfall whirlpool that drags us in so many directions at once and doesn’t let go.
It’s impossible to breathe.
We bang against the rocks and we know this wound is gonna leave a scar. The seaweed tangles around us like tentacles from a monster and our fear grows. We know it’s not real, but it is real. It is grabbing us.
You can’t avoid the storms.
Sure, we didn’t always choose to be put in the path of the storm. Sometimes we saw it coming and thought, “It won’t be that bad.” Or sometimes we walked toward it with our eyes closed or looking elsewhere. Sometimes, we were led to this by others. Every life has storms, no matter what.
And when we’re in it, really in it, it’s hard to see around us. We can’t easily navigate our way to safety, and chances are we could pull others into the storm if we’re not careful.
And the mud gets into us. It fills our ears, eyes, nose, mouth. We feel the grit between our toes, we taste it going down our throats.
It. Is. Everywhere.
It’s all we know. Except, we know there’s more. We know we weren’t always in the storm, and we weren’t always in the mire. We weren’t always dirty. And all we want is to be clean.
But there’s nothing we can do but let the storm carry us through its abuse of our life.
But what if we can?
What if the waves are getting our attention because the placid water wasn’t? What if we aren’t hurting as bad as we think we are? What if the waves crashing on us are fiercely washing away the mud from our eyes so we can better see the path ahead? What if the only way to separate us from what we shouldn’t hold on to, is to have it ripped from our grip? What if the ridiculous pain of this life is meant for something more than making us miserable?
What if this storm is meant to cleanse us and make us stronger?
Instead of panicking, what if we found our stride, and realized the shore isn’t so far away?
What if, in fact, we’re not drowning? What if what’s really happening, is we’re finally learning how to swim?
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!
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