Well, no point in pretending like life is normal these days! So many feel stretched to the limit, where annoyance has given way to desperation, and I sure do understand that. Here's a quick story to underscore how much I know what desperation is like! When my boys were very small, my husband and I gave ourselves a short break and joined his business partner for a fishing weekend up in Wyoming. I'm not into fishing, but love being in boats and on/around the water. Our first day was lovely and peaceful. We had hired a local guide with boat to take us to the best fishing places on this very wide and beautiful river.
The next day, my husband and I took a large inflatable boat we had brought with us, and once again, were enjoying our time exploring on the river. After while we decided we would go ashore and hike around for a while. As we headed for the left bank, we were very suddenly and unexpectedly caught in an invisible, but very strong current over which we were utterly powerless. We were swiftly carried forward straight toward a huge old cottonwood tree that had fallen into the water as a result of root erosion. We slammed into that tree and the boat instantly pulled out from under us by the current. Bob was thrown further out toward the smaller branches where he could get out of the water, still holding on to the rope fastened to the boat, and thus, saving it. I, however, was directly up against the trunk, out of his reach, losing my grip, being pulled under wearing a scuba diving life jacket with loose straps – great for diving but terrible when you're being swept under a huge tree with all kinds of underwater branches on which to get caught. Now it's difficult for me to convey how terrifying this was - not so much the prospect of drowning, but of leaving two very young precious boys as orphans. I was desperate!
I was pulled under, miraculously did not get caught, emerged on the other side and Bob managed to get me back into the boat since there was no way to get out of the river at that point. However, we were still in the grip of that strong current, and with paddles now lost overboard, were heading straight for another mammoth tree lying in the water just like the first one. Once again I hit directly against the trunk, Bob was thrown into the water further out, out of sight and the boat now gone for good. More desperation!
This time, I had a slightly better grip and thought I might be able to hold on for a minute rather than a few seconds as before. And then a voice from a boat way out in the middle of the river called and asked if I knew how to swim. I was able to respond that I did, but probably not in these particular circumstances. He then shouted, like an angel of mercy sent to us, that when I could no longer hold on and was pulled under, he would meet me on the other side and make sure I got to shore. Providing, of course, that I didn't get caught on the submerged branches. His boat had a motor so he was in control of its destiny on the river. So a minute later, the force of the current did, indeed, pull me under and once again I made it.
Now the goal was to get out of the water. I was in such a panic, nothing functioning but stress response turned on super high, that I don't honestly remember details. I know he did arrive, did jump into the water, I did some swimming, but have no recall of exactly how I made it up onto the shore. Needless to say, I know what it means to be desperate - when it seems all is lost with unfortunate consequences for others. I poured so much adrenalin into my body, that I shook for many hours before it was all gone. Bob's partner back at the motel was pacing the floor with worry, not having any idea what had happened to us or how even to begin to find us as we were hours past our planned time of return. Happily, we were reunited, and all were safe.
So the point of all this is, even though you might not be drowning in water, I understand that you sure could be pulled under by any of the unfortunate circumstances showing up in many areas of life, triggered (but not caused by) the current political, medical, racial, and general societal unrest. At the time and space level, we are in the midst of a massive breakdown so a breakthrough to a better, kinder life can occur. But we know that this outer revolution is the result of an inner revolution. One where we let go of more fear and allow more love, patience, kindness, helpfulness and peace of mind to emerge from and as the truth of us. So as you find yourself feeling those strong emotions, do yourself a favor and allow yourself to fully feel them without a story attached, without thinking ahead and trying to fix what may or may not be occurring. Stay present, and to the best of your ability, follow your inner guidance/intuition and refrain from judging. No matter what side of an issue you may find yourself on, remember no one's behavior can be wise, kind, understanding, or helpful while drowning. Anyone whose behavior is less than loving and helpful is drowning in his/her own despair, terrified of being “pulled under,” and willing to do or say anything to try to survive. Listen carefully – all of us are always doing the best we can, no matter how terrible it may seem, given our own inner set of guilt-inducing beliefs that are powerfully directing our lives.
Therefore, to aid in the release of distress you may be experiencing, we are extending the offer we made last week. You can now purchase our inspiring, life-altering See How Life Works course with a 20% discount by using the coupon code HEALHURT. The course is so helpful with learning how to live a safer, happier and more powerful life. And, to top if off, we will send you a free copy of my book, Healing the Hurt Behind Addictions and Compulsive Behaviors, which includes lots of super helpful ways to look at “why we do what we do” and how to stop. Also, the book will be shipped free of charge. You can insert your mailing address on the check-out page. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sending love and many blessings to all of you,
Carol Howe and Robert Hess, Co-Creators of See How Life Works
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