Life is full of whirlpools.
You know the feeling.
Life’s waters spin and we get twisted and twirled.
A new baby, a move, a death, a new job, an illness etc. Life starts rotating at an incredible speed and when the water finally settles we can feel exhausted, waterlogged, and groggy.
We often find ourselves washed up on a new shoreline wondering,”What just happened?” and “Where was I headed before this crazy season began?”
Some people are great at paddling through whirlpools. They seem to almost float through a hard season. They continue to move gently through their life with grace and gratitude, even when weighted with something hard and heavy. They even gain depth and beauty through all the turbulence.
Others seem to sink when a whirlpool strikes. They nearly drown from the weight of it all and also seem to pull down much of the life around them in their desperation to stay afloat.
The bad news is we don’t always know when the whirlpools of our life will come, but the good news is we can decide what type of navigators we will be through our whirlpools.
Below are just three types of whirlpool navigators I have observed.
Whirlpool Nautics: 3 Types of Navigators
1. The Embrace-r
Our first navigator has great foresight and perception. She has a clear vision laid out for her life and her lifework sits so deep within her, her purpose cannot be disrupted by life’s currents.
She knows life is destined to have whirlpools, lots of them, therefore she embraces them. She lets them flow over and through her. In fact, she feels whirlpools enrich her life and is thankful for them because they help her learn, and grow, and become a wiser person.
Her clear vision gives her clarity and peace in the midst of the whirlpools. She keeps this vision in front of her through any storm.
If she finds herself in the midst of a deep and long whirlpool, she continues her work in the midst of it, adjusting as needed.
She isn’t afraid to seek out the support she needs along the way.
Her life feels deeply meaningful and fulfilling, no matter the season.
Her hands and heart are open.
2. The Bobber
Our second navigator has no idea where she is headed in life. She floats, a bobber in the lake of her own life. She waits for opportunity,”signs,” or suggestions from others to float her down new streams and rivers and clings to the momentary direction they give her.
Whirlpools throw her life into swirling chaos. She ends up bewildered when a whirlpool lands her on a different shore than anticipated because she though she knew where she was headed. What in the world will she will do on this new shore?
Since she no real life direction to start with, and has no idea what her life’s work is, she stays on the shore where the whirlpool has thrown her and she again waits for opportunity to float her and direct her life.
Her life feels random and shallow.
There is no rhythm or deep feeling of purpose flowing from her heart. She is even afraid to fully enjoy and engage in her own life and constantly fears the disruption of another whirlpool.
3. The Addict
Our third navigator is a whirlpool addict. She uses whirlpools as a way to avoid truly engaging in her own life, but insists she is not doing this. She is certain when the whirlpool ends, than she will be able to do whatever it is she longs to do, and she makes this point very clear to everyone (including herself).
Living a deeply aware and fulfilled life is unattainable for her because there is no deep peace or space in her life. She is always busy just trying to stay afloat.
Deep down she is afraid to decide on a life direction because she is scared to choose who she will become. She fears influence because she will need to form an opinion. She uses whirlpool drama to avoid this and throws herself into a new whirlpool often.
She is always saying things like, “When this whirlpool ends then …” and “If this was only this way, than I could do…..” The problem is, there is always another whirlpool and she is always spinning in the drama of it all.
Her life feels like one big whirlpool.
Years are flying by without her feeling as though she lived them. She feels frustrated with herself and her life and is an emotional roller coaster. She complains over the wild current, yet feels lost whenever the water settles.
So, who are you? The Do you see yourself in any (or a few) of the above three navigators? I sure did!
It’s obvious which navigation style works best, the embrace-r! Yet many times we have so little clarity in the rush of our own lives that we never consciously choose a style, and by default we become the bobber or addict.
Make sure life isn’t just passing you by without consciously deciding who you want to be and which direction you want your life to go! Your life is NOW, even in the midst of whatever whirlpool you are in!