Saturday, 9 January 2016

Strength Against the Storm

'I'm not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship'. Louisa May Alcott

It's hard to ignore the wild weather recklessly whipping the country in recent weeks. Storm after storm, a different name would roll out from the news to identify the next bout of roaring weather gaining pace across the isle. When one of these was beginning to rear its angry head a few weeks ago - possibly Desmond - I had the pleasure of an evening stroll lead me right up to the turbulent sea. Waves relentlessly crashing, grey sky threatening; this was the setting where inspiration struck.


Storms can traditionally tend to have connotations of tough times. I'm sure I've definitely used them as a miserable metaphor in some poetry in the past. Trying to accurately describe emotions or tumultuous patches, I'd lean on some stormy imagery to help me explain myself. This time though, the storm provided a whole different meaning and energy.


This time, standing on the beach watching the waves crash in, strength is what captivated me most. Of the sea, it was a pure aggressive strength, the kind where I knew that if I stepped into that water, it could carry me away. The volume of water crashing against the rocks and the height of spray it created, just screamed power. 

It made me think of tough times looking at it, yep initially my mind went there. It was like the dark days where I could get pulled asunder and dragged away into it, losing my footing, losing my breath and scrabbling for something solid to cling onto. But this time, I immediately recognised my own strength too. My strength in being able to stand on the beach, comfortably untouched.


I just felt so at ease. I knew my own power, I knew the sea's limits. I knew that it could roll at me all it liked but at a certain point, every single time, it would recede back to where it came from simply unable to come into my space. 


Negativity and challenging times can work in a similar way. 


Challenges in life may seem to come out of nowhere; we don't exactly get a colour-coded warning when sh*t's about to hit the fan. So when the waves suddenly start ripping in, we mightn't be prepared and before we know it we're out of our depth. 


But at any time, we can learn to stand our ground and dig our feet firmly into the sand that keeps us safe. Learning to do this is where our own strength comes from.


Those thoughts, those feelings, the anxiety can seem to have such power. They can seem to be so much stronger than us, but they never actually are. We are just as strong, once we begin to put up a boundary from them. When we shield ourselves by changing how we think, we can observe the negativity from a distance and casually choose not to dive in.


We can notice the strength that our challenges have, yeah it can be hard to ignore them, but there is nothing to be gained from plunging headfirst into them. Instead we need to create our own secure beach of positivity that we can stand on as the waves lap in.


By working on fighting the negativity and replacing it with strong positive thoughts, the storm doesn't stand a chance against us.









4 comments:

  1. Absolutely brilliant piece and so relevant to life and indeed how we feel when our mental health is not being looked after . I love all t.d analogies.

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  2. This is such a strong piece. I can totally relate to all that is posted here.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, and it's great to hear you get what I mean! :)

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