Different Boats? Let’s Weather the Storm by Paddling Together

 In Negative emotions, Relationships

“We are not all in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm.” – Unknown

I recently heard this phrase and thought it was perfect, especially these days! There are so many reasons this saying resonates with me.

One is that we just returned from a couple of days whitewater rafting in northern Wisconsin. I was discussing our adventure with my colleagues and friends, Nancy Kalsow (life coach) and Roger Wolkoff (professional speaker). They were pointing out how it’s hard to ride out the storm (or whitewater) alone. Sometimes we need others in our boat to help us paddle. (Our guide told us that the best way to stay in the boat during the roughest water was to keep paddling. Hmmm. Sounds like another insightful analogy.)

Nancy and Roger also suggested that there may be times we need a lifeline or lifesaver.  This reminded me of how our boat had rescued one of the passengers that had fallen overboard from another raft going over the class IV rapids.

We also noted that although it’s the same storm, people’s situations and beliefs can be vastly different. If someone else has a different perspective than us on topics such as wearing masks, social distancing, vaccines, working from home, the police, black lives matter, politics, and the list goes on, we may find ourselves having a strong emotional reaction. It’s no wonder! Right now so many of us are in survival mode, burdened with extreme stress and uncertainty. Our positivity batteries are drained. Our patience and tolerance are at all-time lows.

What can we do to be a catalyst for greater compassion and understanding?

  • Recognize and acknowledge that many people are acting out of strong emotions and survival mode during these extraordinary times.
  • Take care of ourselves and replenish our positivity. This is essential to expand our ability to give others grace and build our immunity to their negativity
  • Reach out to friends and family and let them know we’re there for them, no matter our differences in perspective (Be ready to paddle or offer a lifesaver).
  • Be a model for kindness and curiosity instead of judgment and condemnation.

What other suggestions do you have to help us support and encourage each other so we can weather this storm better together?

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