This weekend I went tubing with some friends. We were floating the river, which was pretty low and there were a few rapids to go down. Nothing too crazy, I mean, we were in innertubes, but exciting enough that you needed to pay attention to the water. I was in the 2nd worst tube on the trip. It was too small, with not enough air, and my abs are literally sore as I type this because of the way I had to hold myself up. I’m not sure how relevant that part is, but I just want to paint a picture for you.

I was coming into one rapid, my feet were leading the wayand I felt good as I started to be swept away, but then there was themoment—the moment I was certain I was going to flip. Sure enough my feet wentstraight up and over my head, I went in, and as I did a backwards summersaultunder the water, I thought, “Please, no, not my head.”

I was terrified in that moment I was going to smash my headagainst a rock and there was literally nothing I could do about it. As my feetpassed over my head I was utterly relieved the water was deep enough at thatspot to miss the bottom. It was probably the only spot in the river where Icouldn’t stand up. I got lucky. But as I was still under water, it was stilldisorienting. I opened my eyes, but only to see murky greenness and I thought,“which way’s up?”.

Have you ever found yourself in life, feeling tossed by therapids, wondering, “which way is up?”. I think we have this internal sense forour lives. I call it my “due north” because it’s that internal compass that Iknow where I’m going and I know how to get there. But sometimes life becomes sochaotic that it seems we lose our sense of direction. We lose our bearings,tossed by forces stronger than us, only to be whipped around, disoriented, andwanting nothing more than a deep breath.

As I was being tossed under the water my next thought was,“Swim to the light.” There was this tiny voice that gave direction in the midstof the chaos. I think our due north is a tiny voice that we have to be tuned into.

I recently learned about an opera singer who suddenlycouldn’t hit notes within his range. He had gone to a bunch of ENTs, but no onecould offer him a solution. Doctor Tomatis took to figuring it out and what hehad discovered was that this opera singer was going deaf from his own voice.Apparently, opera singers can sing really really loud. So loud that people cango deaf. The reason this singer couldn’t hit the notes was because he couldn’thear the notes. When our lives become too noisy, we can’t hear the notes we’resupposed to play. We’re deaf to our due north.

Sometimes we get caught in the rapids, tossed about, out ofcontrol, and helpless to the boulders that lie hidden beneath the surface.Rapids don’t last forever. Hold your breath. Swim to the light. And as yourhead finally breaks the surface, take some time and be intentional aboutquieting the noise and finding your due north.

It’s easy to get lost in this life, but you can always findyour way back.

*The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).

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