What Colour is Your Lifeboat?
Do you have a lifeboat? I hope so. Everyone needs a lifeboat at some time in their lives. We need one when life overwhelms us with grief, sorrow, or tragedy. We need one in ordinary times when we are lost and are struggling to find our way again.
I learned this the hard way. When my mother died I had no lifeboat. I struggled with grief for years. This continued unabated until my grief was overshadowed by a fresh new grief; when my son died. But then, I had a lifeboat, though I didn’t know it at the time.
I had been blogging weekly, two posts a week, but it ground to a halt while I stepped away to tend to my grief, to his affairs, to hide in my cave. When I resumed blogging two months later, people were surprised I’d returned so soon. But they didn’t know something I was just becoming aware of: writing is my lifeboat.
It saved me. Gathering my thoughts and emotions, attempting to shape them into something meaningful, and then sharing them saved my life. It connected me with the people who had been coming to the LFI porch; their empathy, their insights, their concern. But even more than that, it helped me to process the stages of grief. It also helped me to imagine that someone might stumble upon the post and it might help them too.
Sure; we can wait for someone to throw us a line, and we do need people at times like this, but how much better to know you have a lifeboat of your own, a place where you can hunker down and weather the storm.
My craft is my lifeboat. It is moored down at the wharf, ready in case I should need it. It has rescued me before and I do not doubt that it will rescue me again.
It doesn’t really matter what colour your lifeboat is as long as you have one. As long as you have something life-giving that sustains you, a way to brace you as the storm rages around you, something that brings you joy even during the darkest of times.
If you don’t have a lifeboat yet, hop into mine. Share your thoughts here. They — you — are welcome here. You’re not alone.