Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In Your Boat

“Now then, Pooh," said Christopher Robin, "where's your boat?"
"I ought to say," explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, "that it isn't just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it's a Boat, and sometimes it's more of an Accident. It all depends."
"Depends on what?"
"On whether I'm on the top of it or underneath it.”
~A.A. Milne

Something to think about by Omid Safi for Wellness Wednesday:
When my life was going through a ton of upheaval, there was a conversation that [a friend] and I shared. It was a sweet, simple conversation, one that has stayed with me over the years.

It was one of those times that I was in my lowest of the low moments: unsure, vulnerable, and shaky. It is in these moments when our hearts are breaking that they, sometimes, break open. In the middle of a tear-filled conversation, she leaned in, looked me assuringly in my eyes, and said, “I am in your boat.”

Sometimes your life feels like you are cruising on an ocean liner, everything is going smoothly. Other times, like that time, it felt like I was in a tiny boat, going up and down on turbulent waves that were crashing all around me, cresting over me.

“I am in your boat.”

How lovely to know that I was not alone in that boat. How lovely to have family and friends, people who assure you, “You don’t even need to turn around to check to see if I am here. I don’t care how small your boat is. I am in your boat.”

...Sometimes it takes all that we have to breathe, to row, to stay afloat. And we don’t have the mental energy to check to see who, if anyone, is in our boat. Blessed are those friends who reach forward, gently placing their hands on our shoulder, around our waist, to let us know that they are with us.

Is there anyone who we need to let know that we are in their boat? Omid Safi also posted How To Reach Out to Someone Who is Struggling.

Something really relaxing (sleep-inducing, even) to listen to in your boat:


HWY said...

Very relaxing music...put on my headphones and took a nice nap, even visualized being on a boat. :-)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Beautiful sentiment. I'll have to remember and use it one day.

Keri said...

I have thought a lot about the phrase, "I am in your boat."

I also clicked through to the article, which is very thought provoking. It can be hard to reach out to offer a hand when relationships are complex, but reading through the comments it's clear that many people want even just a wave, to acknowledge they are seen.

It's a call to me to be more empathetic . . . which also goes along with the Hidden Brain podcast I listened to this morning with Alan Alda and th power of connection in communicating!