(An excerpt from our upcoming book)
The Boat of Life
“All things are difficult before they are easy.” --Chinese Proverb
In our own lives… we can sometimes feel like we are alone in the center of a vast ocean on a leaky boat, with no one to turn to as the ruthless and unyielding waves of life batter against us over time. We work with some level of despair to try and plug the holes and manage our water (or stress) levels before it succeeds in pulling us down into the depths of the haunting chasms below… to potentially join whatever monsters that lie in wait in the depths to feed upon our battered souls.
We try to enjoy ourselves as best we can in a life that feels less and less worth living, while the fear of the depths, its daemons and building water levels in our boat seems to render the beauty of our lives meaningless while all of our fears slowly take the forefront in our minds. Even things that didn’t used to be “water” become so till we may even begin to dislike the sound of our own children’s voices or begin to feel hauntingly distant from those we love the most. Casual outings or even desperate vacations that hope to save a relationship, can begin to end up in vicious arguments and words that become hard to take back… until we engage in a bitter war against them to end all wars.
…As time painfully drags on, building our gallery of lost relationships and broken dreams, the more water invades our boat, and the faster it begins to sink, then the more things in life we decide are more water taking us down, then the more those same things then begin to trigger us and drag us down deeper and deeper against our will.
In the middle of that stressful struggle to keep our heads above water, every now and then we may get hit by a large wave from some random ass or politician while another dumps swimming pools of their water out of their ship and onto us, threatening to send us into the haunted depths below.
We become deeply depressed and begin to believe there’s nothing we can do to lift it. We think we’ve “tried everything” to handle the water and turn to countless books, pills, professionals and mind over matter techniques while mostly turning to caffeine, ‘comfort foods’ and potential harmful addictions to ‘try and make the situation less miserable’… which only seems to lead to more water and guarantee our eventual demise… until we can even begin to wish for it… In addition to the utter destruction of whoever we decide is at cause for our decline.
But I ask, waving my hand and all, as the ultimate peanut gallery, “Why aren’t we on land?”
Since on land, that very water that used to stress, threaten and haunt us suddenly becomes breath taking, even inspiring. We become able to enjoy the smaller things, enjoy the sounds of our children’s voices and become able to rekindle love itself. Is that not enlightenment?
But how do we build this land, which is also known as our center? Well, I wish there was a simple answer but each chapter in this book deals with an aspect of land building strategies and overcoming things we do that destroy our own land, reject it and even declare “who needs land.”
The truth is that we do have the power to build the land under our feet again. We do have the power to overcome our own demons. We are far more able than we dare to realize while the demons that hold us back are always far less powerful that we assume.