When you’re in the middle of the ocean, when you can’t seem to find a place to set your foot or something to grab onto, the best thing you can do is just tread water.
Keep your head up.
Kick your legs.
Move your arms around and around and around.
It’s pretty hard to notice the beautiful bird that flies by or the duck-shaped cloud above your head when you’re treading water. You can’t see the beautiful turtle swimming underneath you.
It’s also difficult to have the person treading water beside you telling you what to do or give feedback.
The very best thing you can do, is just be with them.
Try to find a rhythm.
Ask God to be with your friend.
Try to encourage them.
Ask God to help you.
Try to deal with your own thing you have going on.
Most of us are treading water in our daily lives.
Stretched in our finances and head over heals in debt.
Always striving for more and better.
No time to be with your chosen partner in a meaningful way, as the details of life almost push you over.
Unable to attend to your children’s needs because imagine how hard it is to tread water with a child holding onto you?
We are really unable to do or see anything except the water enveloping us.
I have treaded water during my November midterms in my first year of University. To say that I coasted through high school, would be a mild understatement.
I barely had my head above water my first year of teaching in a wonderful country school one hour away from my home.
My body and mind were working hard when I had our firstborn son and caught mastitis. I now joke that this should be a weapon of mass distraction. Forget bombs, mastitis would level the strongest man.
And now I have just come out of a season of treading water in the waves of grief. A year and a half ago we moved cities, the day after this move my mom was diagnosed with cancer and we watched her die five months later. Many relationships I had also died during this season.
Now, I can finally really see and feel what is going on around me. Isn’t hindsight wonderfully freeing?
I now feel very deeply for those I see treading water around me.
I don’t have much to offer but I do know what has helped me.
Let go of the non-essentials. What do you really need in your life?
Lean in to those who love you. Who accepts you for who you are and love you unconditionally?
Hold on to memories made and to be made. Can you look at old photos or picture a future holiday in your mind?
Move you body in some way every day. What gets your heart beating and legs moving?
Eat to be fit, not for feelings. Do you like to stuff your feelings with food? I did and it didn’t make me feel any better.
Strap yourself in.
God is the ‘Life preserver’.
Ask Him for help, for wisdom and for guidance on the path of life.
You are not alone.
You were wonderfully created.
In the messiness of life, your imperfect ways are a gift.
Let go of perfection.
Let go of the vision that your home will look like an one hour fixer-up reality tv show and your body like the cover of a magazine. This is not real life!
Give what you can.
Be where you are.
Be who you are.