Written by Barbara Greenberg, Founder Rediscovering U
What does tubing down a river in Colorado have to do with women, divorce and support, you may ask? Let me explain!
I was recently on vacation in Colorado with my children and grandchildren, and one morning we decided to go tubing down a section the San Juan River, which I though would be the same as tubing down our local Apple River. Well, I was mistaken!!!
Even though the water level was low, I over-turned on the second small set of rapids, and when I popped up from the water, my tube was swiftly floating way from me. The water was shallow enough for me to walk towards my tube, but the footing was comprised of slippery rocks, and I kept falling back into the icy cold river. I was very grateful when my younger daughter grabbed the tube and held it for me until I could catchup and climb back in.
I decided to float closer to the shore line where the water was calm, assuming I would be safer, but the only thing that happened was I got stuck in the shallows. I had simply exchanged one set of problems for another.
Finally my older daughter grabbed hold of my ankle as my legs hung over the edge of the tube, pulled me away from the shore, and held onto me until we reached our down-river destination, which felt like hours but probably took only thirty minutes!
Looking back up the river from where we had come, the rapids seems so small, and I wondered why I they had frightened me so terribly. And it was interesting that of all the wonderful, heartwarming memories of this family vacation, my mind kept returning to experience of the river. I had to make a conscious choice to focus on the joy of the holiday and not on the cold river and the frightening ride down it.
The experience was embarrassing. It was even funny. And it was chockfull of metaphors!
Divorce certainly tosses us out of the safety of our lives, and we can feel stranded in an icy new reality.
During divorce we see our security float away from us, and we can’t keep our footing to catch it. We may want to stay close to what feels safe, but we have to be careful not to get stuck away for the flow of the river, the flow of life.
During divorce we all need someone to reach out and hold us, support us, so we can navigate the frightening turbulence of this difficult time.
Then when we look back at the experience, we can choose not to focus on the pain or the fear, but on the blessings of our life…and of the new life we are creating.