One of my closest college girlfriends was struggling with her marriage, and on the verge of divorce. I poured the coffee while she poured her heart out about her pain and disappointment in herself for “knowing what’s broken but not knowing how to fix it.” She was seeing a wise counselor who told her, “Life is full of waves, and counseling is like taking surfing lessons.” Great analogy, don’t you think?
We often grow up with the idea that life is linear, and if we just follow that straight line and don’t color outside of it, we’ll sail into the sunset on a cleverly named boat we christened the day after retirement. But life looks more like a constant sea of waves: As we continually reach for our life jackets during the unexpected storms, we find ourselves wondering, why didn’t anyone warn us that we may have gotten a leaky boat, and how messy storms are to clean up? Sometimes, despite our best efforts, relationships get rocky: we face such things as our own or a loved one’s mental or physical illness or great financial or personal hardships. Sometimes, we suffer the consequences of our own choices, need to question our coping mechanisms, or examine how others have treated us.
Enter surfing lessons. Learning how to stay on top of those waves and not be tossed around by them takes some practice – and a patient surfing instructor. Counseling is a lot like learning to surf: Discovering how to anticipate the waves no matter how easy or difficult the surf may be that day; Having someone support you through the whole process, from falling into a swell of raging water to balancing on top of it). And yes, it’s a process with a learning curve, and not a straight line. You will fall – more than once. But when you master the art of coping in healthier ways, in finding out who you are and what gives you the strength and balance to stand up on your own with positive support around you … you will find yourself handling each wave like a pro.
Life is not linear. It’s messy, with lots of twists and turns. But from a surfer’s perspective … it’s also a fun ride!
Ready to learn to surf? Call 720-878-8500.
Wave image by Clark Little Photography. www.clarklittlephotography.com.