I love lighthouses… what a realisation! I cannot recall a time when I had missed an opportunity to explore one… and this time, I am dragging my children along.
Approaching the lighthouse, the inescapable sense of ‘big’…perhaps the vast blue sky and roaring ocean in the background add to the sense of magnificence. Irrespective of its size there is something comforting about a lighthouse that calls to me each time.
And in typical me fashion, I ask ‘why’? Why lighthouses? According to some, it is merely a structure and usually similar in design and aesthetic.
Perhaps it is where this monolithic (in my mind) structure stands – precariously it seems on the edge of a cliff, tall and proud. I have an affinity with the ocean – the hypnotic sound of the waves, soothing no matter its volume or rhythm. An island girl at heart :-).
Perhaps it is the romantic stories I weave in my mind about its existence, a beacon to ships out in the dark, guiding; providing a sense of security that there is land even if treacherous. Its light a warning, to protect; not an invitation to draw near. Solitary.
Perhaps it is what it symbolizes. Despite constant assault by pounding waves and ferocious winds at its very foundation, it stands resolute against the elements, strength. And with only the forces of nature as its companion, solitude.
The vision of self-contained strength even when alone and separate has been my companion for many years. No wonder the lighthouse analogy resonates! So now I know. Interesting how long it has taken me to make this connection.
As I write this post, the song ‘I am a rock’ pop into my head. This song, which first introduced me to Simon & Garfunkel, seems apt. Listening to it again, it occurs to me that the song does not compliment but rather, provides a good contrast to what I was talking about. The rock metaphor in the song is merely a defensive mechanism to protect self. It is a belief derived from fear…fear of pain and sorrow.
I realise this no longer hold true for me. For I am older now and a little wiser. My vision of strength has so radically evolved. A defensive measure like that can only shrink my world, reduce me to merely existing and feeds the fear within.
I realise, instead of fear, I choose love. I choose to take the risk of sorrow with the joy, pain with happiness. Because in love, I grow, I am more, I become me. The strength I have now is one of resilience – I do not need to be super strong at all times, just strong enough to hold the complexities of life, to move through pain, to sit with sorrow; and to also dance with joy, celebrating happiness with a bit of silliness and a whole lot of sass. Because I am strong enough, I can also be vulnerable.
Tell me, is your ‘strength’ borne of fear, keeping you from being fully alive? Or is your resilience a product of love and the knowledge that you are enough?
For those interested, this is ‘I am a Rock’ by Simon & Garfunkel.
Wishing you true strength,
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