The Summit Counseling Center
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Leaning In to Life

Megan Barfield

Vector illustration of a giant tsunami with a sailing boat.Have you ever been on a boat when the rocking of the waves pulls your body from side to side; when the force of the water is strong enough to control you, dragging you whichever way it chooses, and fighting against it seems nearly impossible?

As the water pushes and pulls the boat, you have to move with it, leaning into the waves to keep your balance and not be thrown overboard. Though it may not be comfortable your first time on a boat, moving with the waves makes the day out on the ocean waters less of a fight. You have to lean into it. When the water moves you, you move with it.
Isn’t that so much of what life is? Leaning into the moments, the people, the process? When those moments are full of laughter, the people full of love, and the process full of growth and excitement, leaning in is easy. The waves here are graceful and inviting, comfortable and secure. We want to lean in. When those moments are full of tribulations and heartache, the people full of negativity and arguments, and the process full of struggling, leaning in is hard. Honestly, sometimes it feels nearly impossible to lean into the things that seem as though they are literally breaking us down. Why would we lean in when life seems to be gripping us by the shoulders and dragging us into the deep waters of hurt, grief, and uncertainty?

We lean into the waves because it helps us keep our balance on the waters; we lean into life because it helps us be balanced and prepared with experience to lean into the choppy waves of hurt and, in the end, thrive knowing that we did.
When we encounter the waves that are bigger and more powerful than our boat can withstand, we reach for life vests to keep us afloat until we can get back on the boat. When we encounter hardships that are bigger and more powerful than our threshold for hurt, grief, and uncertainty, we reach out to family, to friends, to therapists and counselors for help until we are able to reach and maintain our own balance. We have more power when we sacrifice our comfort and control than we do trying to fight against life and its offerings, whether that means being okay to sit in sadness a little longer or talking with a professional about our needs. Leaning in to the difficult and challenging moments of life allows us to grow and heal from them; it allows us to be stronger navigators of our own lives.

Lean in and utilize your resources to make that process a healing one, not a hurtful one.

The Summit Counseling Center
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