Life is like the edge of an ice floe. Sometimes it is the best place to stand. The fishing and hunting are bountiful, we are safe as the thick ice supports us, and the universe is generous in its offerings.
At other times, the ice can suddenly become treacherous. It breaks away from the shoreline and we are cast adrift into a fearful and endless sea.
When the world comes crashing down around our ears, we are left feeling helpless, shattered, isolated and cast adrift.
Our initial shock and sadness gives way to fear as all we can see ahead of us is the cold, black unknown.
There are so many life events that can leave us feeling abandoned. These things can include the loss of a loved one, a home, a job, or business. The end of a relationship, an accident, poor health and more can leave us desperate and feeling exiled from a world we used to find familiar and comforting.
Today I find myself cast adrift on the darkened sea and ask, “How can I possibly cope?”
I can't swim back to the familiar shoreline as I will surely freeze to death or drown before reaching it.
I can't stay on this ice floe as I will surely be lost forever.
The only answer lies in the terrifying sea of the unknown, and I am afraid.
How am I going to cope? The following points are the steps I am taking right now. I hope you find them helpful on your own journey.
I need to understand that all the sea monsters and clawed demons lurking beneath the water's surface are dark illusions created by my OWN imagination. How can they be real if I haven't even peered below the surface to see what's there? When I look at the surface of the water all I see is a mirrored image of myself. That's my first clue. It's time to explore exactly WHAT I am afraid of. I name the fears and write them all down in a notebook, and get ready to banish the monsters one at a time.
I will not wait for a Knight in Shining Armour to appear. I am going to rescue myself and be my own Hero. Taking a deep breath I open my notebook and look at the fear monsters one at a time. I think about what kind of power they hold over my thoughts and behaviour. Why do they paralyze me? I move slowly through the list and think about the flip-side to each fear. Am I afraid I won't be able to meet and be accepted by people? I imagine myself happily mingling at a fabulous party, meeting new people and making friends. Am I afraid to start looking for more work? I imagine myself finding a job I love while becoming happy and successful. As each fear is addressed, it gets scratched from the list. Instead of feeling exposed, bleak and vulnerable I start to welcome the process of this imaginative work and understand that it will make me more receptive to opportunities that may come my way.
I need to reclaim Myself. This includes re-addressing my hopes and dreams, putting together a plan of action, pampering myself with a healthy lifestyle, and moving forward one step at a time. Feeling cast adrift is a very real part of a grief cycle. When I finally move beyond my fears and gather my courage to look under the surface of that dark and perilous sea, I notice that it is teeming with life and potential. That potential becomes a sail that helps me chart my own course and embrace and trust the opportunities I create for myself.