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Skating on Thin Ice!

     The pressure builds and you can feel the ice tremble beneath your feet. Crash!  Splat!  Then without warning, it gives way and cold, icy blades cut through your air space. You gasp for air as fear attacks without mercy. All light fades as the murky gloominess engulfs you. Who can you call on for help? How can you manage to stay afloat in this chaotic sea of misery?  How do you manage to keep your balance on thin ice and not fall into the bottomless pit of overwhelming responsibilities? You try every imaginable swimming stroke that comes to mind but the movement is slow and painful. You are running out of hope and more importantly, you are running out of air.


    You claw your way to the surface, catch your breath as fresh air invades your nearly collapsed lungs. You then pull yourself upon your feet. Just as you think you’ve regained control of your skates, another piece of ice gives way and you again fall helplessly into the frozen darkness below. Cold, icy needles penetrate your body, mind and your tired, battered spirit. They beckon you to give up. They whisper your name and tell you that there is no need to struggle and that you belong to the shadows.  


    Finally, after several desperate cries, a hand reaches down and pulls you out of your watery grave, sets your feet on solid ice, and gives you a gentle push. You are saved from sudden destruction and free you to skate again.


     Skating on thin ice is an art form of the feminine persuasion. As women, we are experts at floating across the cracks of family and business emergencies, personal crises, and all of life’s other eruptions. The only way we survive is by being connected. We need our connections to help us stay afloat.  We need our connections with other women to help us become water walkers. This is where we draw our strength. This is who we are. We need other women to help us navigate the swirling ocean we call life.


     So many of us find comfort living in isolation. We cling to shame and hide abuse, neglect, and depression. It’s not that we enjoy being alone, but darkness lulls us into a place where we don’t want others “in our business”. Living this way means that we are not where we can receive the help we need or respond to questions that pry open the shadowy rooms of our lives. These places serve as the source of our secret pain.


Living this way, we develop a false sense of security in an unstable, isolated cocoon.  Sadly, we do not realize that choosing isolation leaves us vulnerable. The ice beneath our feet melts from the heat of loneliness. We allow fear to hold us captive in a place called hopelessness. The cataracts of low self worth then blind us from seeing our purpose and from stepping into destiny.


    We know that others have told us that we are good at certain things. Many of us also know “what we bring to the table” in terms of our skills, but it is difficult to grasp our true power when our feet begins slipping on melting ice. We become so petrified with fear that we refuse to give others something as simple as a kind word. This brings to mind a story that had a great impact on my life.


    One day, in the cold of winter before cell phones became a way of life, I stopped to make a call at a telephone booth. During the call, I noticed a beautifully dressed woman walking in my direction. She was wearing a black coat with a leopard print fur collar and matching cuffs. She also wore a matching leopard print crown style hat. This sister looked like someone right off the cover of a high fashion magazine. Although I was in the middle of an important call, I was bombarded with a constant mental interruption, telling me to stop and speak to this woman.


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©2016 - Dr. Gail Hayes - Handle Your Business Girl