By Tim Rhode
I have this theory about managing life as an adult. It goes like this.
We are all walking across a huge body of water, maybe a lake or an ocean, with metaphorical snakes, crocodiles and sharks swimming in the water below, waiting to pounce on us and take us down to a mentally dark place.
When all is going well and we are feeling safe and are getting our basic needs met, we are walking on a six foot wide boardwalk across this most treacherous lake. We can plainly see the vicious creatures wanting to get at us, but they can’t because the stable and secure walkway of certainty and peace protects us from imminent danger.
When we are under stress, in crises, in a really bad patch or perhaps going down the wrong path, this boardwalk becomes narrower. Our options seem to tighten up and everything becomes grey and shallow. Even our breathing is restricted. The walkway is narrow. Sometimes it feels like a tightrope and the creatures are literally nipping at us! (Ouch, very ouch! Not a fun place to be.)
This is when your relationship with yourself is SO critical. What tools have you developed to deal with these inevitable hardships we all face? What does your self talk sound like? Who can you and do you confide in to help you in these dark times? How can you directly confront what is truly happening and take small and steady steps towards “slaying this beast” and getting back on more solid ground? (Perhaps a written plan with all of your options spelled out would help?)
We all have our own personal crosses to bear. Whether single, in a relationship, or a parent, young or old, rich or poor. Our abilities to manage our personal state of being and stay on the WIDE PATH is, in my humble opinion, one of the most important abilities one can work on. This is life’s true and needed “inner work.” This tool is like any other muscle. When we see we CAN work through issues, solve challenges, move past bad habits and past limiting beliefs we can create a new spark within us. This allows new direction, peace, harmony, compassion, resiliency, and personal power. Most of all it allows us to walk proudly with our heads held high knowing we are showing up daily to smile and pursue fulfillment on our own “personal boardwalk across the lake of life.”