Have you ever felt lost or overwhelmed? Almost everyone feels like they just can’t cope sometimes. During these times, negativity often rears its ugly head. You may tell yourself that everything you do is wrong and everything that happened is awful. The only thing you want is to find the lighthouse that they say is always there to guide you.
But beware, if you just stick to victimizing yourself and complaining, it will be even harder to solve your problems. Not because the solution is especially hard to find, but because all the negativity you’ve embraced can become like a thick fog, keeping you from seeing the situation clearly.
Finding your lighthouse
But, how can you find the lighthouse that’s always there to guide you? Some psychologists recommend an exercise that can help you open your eyes, as well as bring hope to your heart, even when it seems like a situation is hopeless. But what are the steps of this exercise?
First, close your eyes, relax and, let all the tension in your body go to feel at peace. Once you’re in a peaceful state, visualize a boat tossed by waves that’s about to sink. There’s lightning and deafening thunder. You can’t stop moving and the water keeps splashing into the boat. You’re soaking wet. By now, you feel lost, alone, and just don’t know what to do.
You can’t communicate with anyone. All you can do is hold on to the mast for dear life and try not to go overboard. But it’s hard, and your hands hurt. You’re chilled to the bone, tired of putting up with the situation, and thinking of letting go. But suddenly, you see a faint light.
When life overwhelms us, we tend to drown in emotion, and it may seem that we just can’t make it. But don’t give up. Endure the situation, and you’ll finally be able to glimpse the lighthouse that’s always there to guide you.Share
Instead of hanging your head and going back to your defeatist thoughts, you’re curious about the light. So you guide the boat to it. Thanks to the light, at least you’re going somewhere. As you get closer, the light gets brighter and you can see something else. Something is projecting the light. Great! You feel more hopeful. It’s a lighthouse, on solid ground. You finally have somewhere to go.
The joy of having hope
Once you’ve done this exercise, it’s important to apply it to your emotions. How did you feel when you were adrift in the boat? You most likely felt fear, loneliness, abandonment, and frustration. You might have even felt like you were going to die. But something changed.
The moment you glimpsed the lighthouse, your emotions radically changed. The second you became curious, you stopped thinking about everything happening around you. The new interest put the negative situation you were experiencing in second place. You probably felt calm, at peace, joyful, and relieved… You forgot about the bad things because you knew it could get better.
The same thing often happens when, for example, you lose a job and aren’t able to find another for quite a long time. One day, however, you get a call for an interview. There’s always a lighthouse to guide you, but you have to know how to see it. If the person getting that call refuses to see that lighthouse, they might think there’s no way they would get the job. Maybe because they’re over 40, they’ve been unemployed for a long time, or for whatever other reason that lets them wallow in negativity.
How can you avoid letting your life fall apart when something negative happens and you don’t know what to do? The key is to have more than one lighthouse. This way, if one collapses, you can keep moving forward with your life without feeling miserable.
Having multiple lighthouses in your life
The lighthouses are like different parts of your life. For example, you have a lighthouse for your romantic relationship, another for family relationships, for your work, for your personal development… The key is to care for as many lighthouses as possible so, even if one collapses, your life doesn’t collapse. Let’s take a look at an example.
When one of your lighthouses gives out, you can focus on another. But if you’ve neglected the other lighthouses, you’ll be back in the boat, lost at sea. And you might be there for a very long time. Therefore, you can’t focus on just one lighthouse. You also need to tend to the others because you might need them one day.Share
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re in an emotionally dependent relationship, and your spouse is your whole life. What’s really going on here? There’s only one lighthouse to guide you. If that relationship ends and the lighthouse collapses, you will feel lost, trapped, and unable to enjoy life. All your expectations were placed on one lighthouse, forgetting all the others. What about the friendship lighthouse? The personal growth lighthouse? What happened to the professional goals lighthouse?
By not caring for other lighthouses, you run the risk of becoming lost in life. The exercise mentioned at the outset can help you realize that there’s never just one lighthouse that guides you. There’s many more! You’ve just neglected them and forgotten where they are. But don’t worry, there’s a solution.
From the moment you become aware there’s not just one metaphorical lighthouse that rules your life, you discover that, although one falls, many more are still standing and lighting your way. You just have to change your focus and look towards those faint lights, towards the forgotten lighthouses. You’ll then notice everything else you have to live for.