I learned from another cancer survivor’s blog, Tara Beats Cancer, that I have a ship. I decide everything about my ship, its color, its size, its direction and speed, and most importantly, who else gets to ride along. I can kick people off my ship and assign day passes to others. I can decide that the person who used to be a great navigation officer on my ship is no longer fit for duty. I can pick up passengers along the way and go from place to place as I choose. All on my ship.
This ship metaphor has been a powerful one for me. I grew up with the notion that once people had boarded onto my ship they were there to stay. Come hell or high water (quite relevant on a ship), I always assumed that I needed to ‘play nice’ and go along with what other people needed who were on my ship. Sometimes that meant being nice when I didn’t want to and making something my responsibility that shouldn’t have been. Sometimes that meant disregarding my own needs in favor of someone else’s.
After my mother’s illness and then my own, though it took a little while to figure out, I finally started actively picking who was on my ship. Some met the standards and some did not. Some were booted quickly from my ship’s ranks and others took time to deposit at another port. After two life-and-death situations, I finally took control over my ship and took responsibility of wisely choosing those with whom I surround myself.
Does that one person always make you feel defensive? Be careful when and why they board your ship!
Does that other person love and support you? Consider making them an officer on your ship!
Love yourself and your ship. You’re both stuck with one another for a while.
Read more from Tara’s blog, here.