When your standards are low and your expectations are high and you count on people to support you, and you expect your life in general to go well, what do you do when you find yourself struggling alone, maybe even sinking, in a sea of life's greatest and sometimes most unimaginable challenges?
I found myself in this situation for many years, all the while flailing around desperately trying to stay afloat in a situation where I was never going to survive let alone thrive. Occasionally there might have been a piece of driftwood that would float by to provide me with something to grab hold of for a time, but these moments were fleeting. The rest of the time I was in a state of emergency and panic, hoping beyond all hope that some great figurative ship would come along, see and save me…that is until all hope was lost.
What do you do when that happens?
It is during moments like this that some of us stop fighting and we sink. We let ourselves sink right down to the very depths that gravity pulls us to, which for me happened to be far…think “Mariana's Trench” far. What was down there you ask? Nothing but pitch blackness, wavy silhouettes of terrifying creatures drifting in the dark, and the sound of my own voice crying ever so faintly for a life raft. Within so much silent despair and pressure I was able to make out that this was a child with fears and traumas so deep that I was no longer able to ignore her. This was me, my younger me, waiting for a savior, and with no one to help, I alone had to be the one to courageously step into the gap between my adult and child self to do some serious work, which involved mostly listening. It is there that I made some serious pledges and promises. It is there that perhaps for the first time, I began to love and care for myself like no other had been able to.
When people say that they found themselves, this is no ordinary or straightforward task. This requires digging thru layer after layer of mostly artificially programmed social development to get to the truth of who you are, what you “really” honestly stand for, how you think, feel, and operate. You get clear, very clear, about why your life is not working or aligned with those critical things that you have always stood for, and maybe for the first time, YOU become the hope that you've always been searching for.
When this happened and I could be there for myself the way I always wanted others to be there for me, some amazing things happened. All the garbage aspects of my life that I tried to see, thru rose colored glasses, really began to stink and I was able to throw out a whole lot of junk that was not serving me. This included people, situations, places, and some physical mementos that I had kept around for far too long! The relief from this process was unimaginable! Suddenly I got lighter and was able to float up effortlessly out of that trench and stay afloat, breathing in endless blue sky and unpolluted air that fed my soul and made me stronger. People who could support me started showing up out of nowhere and stood by my side, as though they were always there, just buried from view. Some of them were tests to make sure I was aligned properly. The failed ones quickly lost their superficial luster and charm. The right ones sparkled! The sparkly ones became beacon points of light. I don't overlook them any longer! They are pretty hard to miss with clean and clear lenses!
If you have lost hope, take a moment to listen to the voice stirring within. This is the only voice that truly matters. This is YOUR voice. It is your savior.