A DUCK? WHO ME?
One of the joys of living in the times we do is the internet. It gives us a huge access to information and people. Through the site www.myrecoveryspace.com, I have had the good fortune of befriending Dennis S. in the California desert.
Dennis writes a lot of things I can relate to and learn from. But it is the way he “paints a picture” that I really love. Today, I’ll see if I’ve learned anything from Dennis.
Today I see a picture done in bright pastels on a very white background. The sky is blue with fluffy clouds, there are green hills and wild flowers surrounding a calm lake, and alone on the lake is a duck swimming in what appears to be a very relaxed manner but moving with no apparent destination.
Funny, I often see this picture when talking with others, particularly those who I know have trouble but want the world to see a person just swimming along. A person in denial.
Words from the well known Richard Cardinal Cushing frame my picture. “When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck”.
I know that Cushing would see me as a duck, and for many years, I was the duck that appears in my mental picture. A duck just swimming along in an idyllic setting just constantly moving aimlessly forward.
What you don’t see in my picture, nor did you see in my life, was what was going on beneath the surface and in the head.
To move forward, I was thrashing my legs as hard as I could. It was exhausting and quite out of control, but it was the only way I thought I could make progress, and I didn’t want those looking on to know how hard I was working and to realize how out of control things were. All this thrashing under the surface and no real idea of where I was going.
And the head- wow- what a theatre was going on in there.
I saw eagles, but try as I might I couldn’t soar with them. I just wasn’t equipped. There was no clear vision of where I was going and certainly no acceptance of what I was.
Pictures can be deceiving.
Today I appreciate being a duck, but a duck with purpose and I’m fine with it. I am loved and there are truly perils if I act like an eagle.
When I run into other ducks, I can tell very quickly what they are. I know rapidly how much thrashing is going on under the surface because I can feel the vibrations. I get a very good sense of what’s going on in the head because I understand quacking.
The picture to the outside world may look lovely. If the duck you see is at peace, then it is lovely. If the duck you see is struggling and is denying it’s a duck, it will be swallowed up.
Take a little time to see yourself in the picture. Are you a duck and what is going on beneath the surface and in the head where those looking from the shore can’t see?
If you can relate and want to talk with a duck who loves life as a duck, then give me a shout. Possibly from one duck to another I can help you find a smoother, less exhausting life. (Keith, www.coached-to-success.com or www.hopeserenity.ca).
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