I just bumped into a friend in the forest whilst walking my dog. We’d been trying to arrange a mutual dog walk for weeks but it hadn’t happened and once we’d starting chatting it was evident that we’d both had a lot going on. Covid stuff, teenage kids, client-work that had been immense, not to mention the fact that we were both being tested by parental health issues and our own energy levels based on winter and female health. “Doesn’t it just feel relentless?” I said, “That continuous feed of bad news and then there’s the same with supporting clients too, they are all facing endless difficulties”.
Now, my friend is a wise lady, and I just loved the way she explained it to me. “You are a lighthouse”, she said. “In the light people don’t really need you, they see you, but there’s not much need. Now we are in the darkness, they all see you and one by one they are coming to be rescued by your light. You have to keep shining bright, but whatever you do, don’t move. Stay Still or they will go crashing at the shore.” I felt like I’d been hypnotised by Confucius but it certainly gave me plenty to ponder on for the rest of my walk.
As I walked off into the forest I reflected; How in the light times it is so important for us therapists and healers to nurture self-care and set up the systems and resources that will get us through these dark times. How we must make the most of the light times to fill our cups, do what we love, instill joy and harmony. The dark times will not last for ever, and we will get through the long nights by holding out hope for the daylight and less stormy times. How by ‘staying still’, we need to be present, live in the moment and focus on what is needed right at this very second.
Lighthouses can be categorised as being in two camps; those that are built upon land and those that are placed out in the most treacherous of places in the rocky shores of the sea. I invite you to think about the positioning of your own personal lighthouse right now.
Are you out in the sea amongst some of the most difficult of situations, guiding those through rocky waters, supporting those from losing everything, in life or death situations? Or is your lighthouse shining brightly on stable land?
If it feels like you are out in the midst of a stormy rage, perched on rocks that pose danger to even the most skilled of sailors obviously the need to maintain your lighthouse is much greater. Get your light fixed more often, you will need to be brighter, bolder and stronger for longer.
If you are a therapist who has been shining their light brightly for long and the light feels like it’s fading, then reach out for my Helping Hand session. This is an hour in which we will just talk about how you feel. No judgement, just a calm space amongst the stormy seas, in which you will feel safe, heard and then ready to make decisions on where to go next. It reminds me of another saying, that we may not all be in the same boat, but we are in the same storm right now, and well, what a storm indeed!!