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Safe Harbors: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on July 4, 2013

THE WORLD I KNOW SO WELL

harbor (hvn)

n.

a place of security and comfort : refuge

Thank you to Webster for that definition.

In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph evidently had me in mind when he wrote that sentence. I have spent my life crossing thin ice. It never occurs to me to turn around and find a safer passage. Instead I rev the internal engines, stomp that foot to the pedal and see if I can’t outrun the laws of physics and nature. I know many who will take the detour, often times traveling far from their destination, in order to avoid possible problems. They are good people and I respect them greatly, but….where the hell is the fun in that? LOL

My safe harbor today
My safe harbor today

TRAVELING THE SEAS OF LIFE

Ship captains, while steering their ships across an open ocean, are always aware of the nearest safe harbor, that isolated place where they will head for in case of emergency. As the thunderheads build in the distance, lightning splits the sky and walls of water blot out the horizon, the course is plotted and the ship turns towards the distant harbor where the storm can be ridden out and they can survive to sail another day.

This morning I reflected on the sea of life. Will you join me?

Forty-four years ago I lost the only safe harbor I knew at the time, and I began decades of being tossed about by life, seemingly as insignificant as a leaf in a thirty-foot swell. Place a dry leaf on a calm body of water and it will float as surely as any of the world’s great ocean liners. Soak it with water, however, and it gently drifts to the bottom of that body of water, eternally damned to a wet and hopeless grave.

So it was for me.

When my father died my anchor was cut and I began to drift. I had no spare anchor and I was miles from dry land. With each problem that arose more of my self was soaked until the day came, a little over six years ago, when I could no longer stay afloat. I needed a flotation device but there was none to be found.

Or so I thought.

Source

WHY NOT FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO ANCHOR TO?

That is the logical question now isn’t it, and it was certainly one I thought about often, but you see, death had robbed me of my anchor, and who was to say that if I chose another human the same thing would not happen again? And if that were to happen how would I ever survive?

I tried relationships and failed miserably.

I tried friendships with all the wrong people and again, cut loose and drifting.

Finally I found a friend who would not desert me. I found alcohol, that blessed oblivion that allowed me to turn off the thoughts in my brain and mask the pain in my heart. Alcohol gave me courage. Alcohol gave me the ability to function in a world that was foreign to me, and alcohol dulled the pain and allowed me to find false bravery while the seas rose and the wind howled.

I could not trust humans but I could always trust booze. Drink just enough to blot out the pain but still perform my daily duties. A fine balancing act for sure, but one I managed for twenty years with few repercussions.

Ah, but reality finds a way, often, to shatter our illusions. I finally arrived at the day when 100 drinks were not enough and one was too many. My safe harbor had hidden reefs, and as my personal vessel scraped bottom a huge hole formed in my hull, and the result was inevitable.

What does one do when one’s safe harbor is no longer safe.

The options are limited. You can sink with the ship or you can jump overboard and swim like crazy.

I chose to abandon ship and swim.

A moment with Bill

THE ONLY TRUE SAFE HARBOR

I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don't have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?

Shailene Woodley

I have shared before a quote by Dr. Bob, one of the original founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think for this article it is worth sharing again. It goes something like this:

“Humility is …

‘Perpetual quietness of heart.

It is to have no trouble.

It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.

It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Higher Power in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.’”

A blessed home inside myself…..

Decades were spent searching for something that was always inside of me.

The safe harbor I always looked for could be found by setting my compass to the coordinates of my heart.

What I have found, and I think this is vital for all human beings, is that any security based on people, places or things, is transitory at best. Changes happen. People die….possessions are lost…..places come and go….and just as it is never a good idea to build a structure on quicksand, so too is it unwise to seek security in something or someone.

We need to begin our structure on solid bedrock. From that bedrock we can then build tall and wide, and with that bedrock as our foundation we can withstand anything that life throws at us.

A blessed home inside myself.

Have you found your safe harbor?

See results

TODAY I AM TRULY SAFE

Bring on the storms. I do not welcome them but I do not fear them either, and each new storm serves as a reminder that I always need to check on my foundation to make sure it is secure and able to withstand the next storm, and the next, and the next, for there will always be storms.

Today I am in a loving relationship. Today I not only function in life but thrive. Today I have hopes and dreams rather than a living hell of wasted possibilities.

Today I choose to swim.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, I'm just grateful I finally found mine. Hard to believe I didn't see it, but there was some serious fog that obstructed my view for years. :)

      Thank you my friend and blessings to you always

      bill

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill - Short, simple, straight to the point ... and yet intensely profound. Would that we could all come to this realization and safe harbor early in our lives. But later is always better than never. Thank you for sharing this. Blessings. Theresa

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I have my water wings on and I'm paddling. :) Thanks!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Keep swimming Bill. I love that analogy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, you and I understand that lesson very well, don't we? We had to learn the hard way but we did learn.

      Thank you for taking the time to visit my friend.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Really good hub, Billybuc. You are so right, learning self love/respect is one lesson that will not let us down.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, you are very welcome, and thank you for your kindness.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship."

      Louisa May Alcott

      Wonderful essay, Bill, thank you for sharing so much of yourself! :-) Lurana

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I'm sending you wishes for a calm wind at your back and smooth sailing to that next peaceful harbor.

      Thank you buddy!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Many, even most of us seem to be like Don Qixote. Chasing those windmills. Hopefully the wind will die down and we will affix our attention to something calmer. Thank you Bill,

      Mark

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, that was a great simile and I thank you for it. I will remember that and use it one day in an article and think of you.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You are right, Bill. Most of us are like the musk deer who runs helter skelter looking for the scent that is within himself. Each one of us can find a safe haven within ourselves. Thanks for this lesson.

      Voted up and awesome, as always. Have a great day, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Deb! That was very nice of you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It was a good thing that you chose to swim, for the world without Bill Holland never would have been the same.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, it is my pleasure. I hope others can learn from some lessons that came very hard for me. :) Thank you my friend and have a wonderful Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, thank you! As you may well know, I don't do well with praise. I just consider myself a human being. I have made so many mistakes over the years and I'm just now finding some answers. If my answers help other then fantastic!

      Thank you for your kindness. I think you know I respect you greatly.

      love,

      bill

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      People will always disaapoint you and knowing when to let go of that false hope will make life much easier. Thanks for sharing from your experience and for helping us to see what is so important in life.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      We, your faithful followers are so glad that you finally found your bearings after years of being 'anchorless'. Fear of 'new' anchors is only human nature, and of course - that's when addictions become easiest. They NEVER desert us - even when we desperately want them to!

      You are stronger than most, my friend - and your self-imposed rigidity and high self-expectations are part of the 'penance' that you pay.

      The other part is working diligently to help others see the traps that you fell into - before they do as well!

      You are a fine man, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back, Eddy, and thank you! I like my writing to be like a fireside chat, so your comment is greatly appreciated.

      Sending you love across the Atlantic.

      billy

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I am so far behind with my reading Billy so please forgive me. Great to be back reading another gem of yours though. Brilliant as always ;you have that wonderful knack of making the reader feel she is sat by your side listening to you. Voted up.Take care and enjoy your weekend my dear friend .

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LK, nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself. Now I'm all about sharing and hopefully helping others. Thank you for your kindness my friend, and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Liz! Self-help does not just apply to the addicted. The day I accepted my own friendship is the day I started to find happiness. :) Thank you for your wise words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok! You are greatly appreciated my friend.

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Bill,

      It takes so much courage and strength to share your heart, expose your deepest thoughts, to bare your soul. Thank you again for another emotional and beautiful reading and learning experience.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very beautiful hub, Bill. People are sometimes their own worst enemy, often criticizing themselves and beating themselves up more than any stranger could. I don't know anyone who wouldn't be able to identify with your hub, even if they never took so much as one drink. Voted up.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      A wonderful hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, that means a great deal to me. Thank you for your kind words and yes, I hope my experiences help others so their road is a bit less bumpy.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I always vote your hubs Useful and Interesting, Bill, but this one truly deserves a "Beautiful". By sharing your experience and advice you have the potential to help many people in the often difficult journey through life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, thank you so much! I appreciate you greatly and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, as do mine! I learn through pain, and hopefully my lessons can keep others from having to experience the same pain. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, you bring up a good point and one I have thought of often....I do hope that from my sharing will come sharing from many writers. It always helps to know that others have gone through the same experiences. Thank you my friend.

      Sending hugs and blessings your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! This really is where my heart is when it comes to writing, and it's nice to have it appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lyric, thank you very much my friend. It is good to see you, and I hope you had a nice 4th of July.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you're as good with reflection as you are with instruction. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I agree that you must love yourself first or you don't have any love to give to others, as you are always looking for others to meet your needs. Your story is one I have heard before as I have more than one recovering alcoholic in my life. There is always hope, and we all must weather storms. My most important lessons in life come from my many mistakes.

      Voted up, awesome hub!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Bill,

      Finding your safe place, your safe harbor, was a gift to you and to us. You so willingly share your experiences that it gives those of us who read your writings the freedom to feel we can do the same.

      thank you for sharing this...voted up++++

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      That's what i meant about writing from the heart, when you do, it touches the inner heart. Thank you. I'm glad you chose to swim...

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Bill, powerful article my friend. We all need a safe harbor, a safe place to be when the storm hits per say. Powerful hub Bill. You always hit those "deep" hubs right on pal. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and beautiful. Shared on Facebook also.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, thank you sincerely my friend. I wasted so much of my life; it's nice to be doing something positive with the time I have left. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This was beautiful billy, we are all so glad you swam and did not sink. Many of us find courage in you so you have came out very well to be such a great influence on so many. ^

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, it is my pleasure my friend. I'm so happy that you have found your safe harbor. Blessings to you always.

      your friend,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good night Made and thank you! I'm pretty glad I'm swimming as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, just make sure you lean over the boat if you feel an upchuck coming. :) Happy 4th of July my funny friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LaDena, such a nice thing for you to say. Thank you so much and I do believe certain people enter our lives for a reason. :) I hope you are enjoying your 4th of July.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      My safe harbor is within me.

      Happy 4th of July to Bev and you my friend! Many thanks for sharing another inspirational and uplifting hub with us.

      Voted up+++ and sharing

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Bill, I'm glad you're swimming. Happy 4th of July and enjoy the rest of your day above water surface! :) I'm going to bed now.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      If we would all live by the truth of that Dr. Bob quote, the world would be a totally different place. So much wisdom in those words.

      Now if you'll excuse me, the water's extra choppy these days so I'm gonna go take a Dramamine.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Bill- I am still looking for my safe harbor, but I will find it soon. I believe that you were brought to HubPages and my life for a reason...you always have great insight and great advise to give to me and so many others...and usually and a time when at least I know it...thanks again for being there for us, my friend...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tim, it's good to see you again. As for the 4th, I'm sure we'll have some burgers on the grill at some point today. We'll sit on the deck and watch the city fireworks later tonight. Our town is small enough so the fireworks can be seen from just about any vantage point in town.

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm trying to use metaphors more often and it's nice to see that they are well received when I do.

      Happy 4th of July my friend!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, my mother was in worse shape than I was. ;) She leaned on me, and that's a frightening thought.

      We made it through eventually, though, and learned some lessons along the way.

      Thannk you for your kind words my friend, and I hope you are having a wonderful 4th of July.

      blessings always,

      bill

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Hello Bill . . . I liked this article. Sharing openly is, well, for a friend I know well enlightening. Thank you for offering a hello too. Are you having dogs and burgers on the grill today? A sister across the river in Tigard and daughter had a fireworks display for the high school choir. Word is a success.

      I like the allegorical usage of a ship, a captain or passenger, and the weather. Your success with this article is far better than all the efforts I attempted with less than and more than in one sea. Oh well, I took my thermometer with me. That caused a stir between the factions discussing the A/C I say with a giggle.

      Thanks for the contribution Bill. I have more time now, so a visit here and there is scheduled for slow more than fast. I'll see you about. I can see the city fireworks scheduled for 9PM after the 1st MarDiv band symphony performance in Grape Day Park. I hope you have something scheduled for the evening too after the bar-b-q . . .

      tim

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Bill, did your Mother see you flounder after your Father died?

      Was there anything she could have done to help you?

      Do you think your way of life had any effect on her?

      Your Hub was one of your best. Thank you for having the courage to lay all your cards on the table. You serve as an inspiration to others who may be treading water.

      Thank you for all that you do,

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lambservant, I should have let you write this hub. You did it much better than I did. :)

      Love the quote by Spiegleberg...isn't that the truth? I could have never guessed the bounties that awaited me if and when I gave up the fight and just learned acceptance....and trust that God will take care of me. He has now for many years despite my battling Him on many occasions.

      Blessings to you my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rose, what good are lessons learned if they can't be shared with others? Nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself, so if people want to judge me then let them. I love my life today and I want others to feel the same way.

      Thank you so much for the kind words and the 4th of July wishes. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Randi and Happy 4th of July to you and your family.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      I think it is amazing of you to share your story. You are truly an inspiration for those in need of hope and the strength to persevere, regardless of what obstacles life throws their way. Thank you for sharing and a very Happy 4th of July from your friends to the north. (Voted Up)

      -Rose

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So happy you found your safe harbor! love the quotoes! Thank you! Happy 4th to you and Bev!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      As a sister in recovery I appreciate this message of hope. God had a plan for you, me and so many others even though we didn't know it at the time. When we hit bottom and fall into that place of incomprehensible demoralization and feel like a the worst animal dung imaginable, we have a choice, die or reach out trusting that a higher power can do for us what we could not do for ourselves. I heard a woman say in a 12 step meeting one time "I realized I could have alcoholism and die a slow death or I can have everything." I am so happy she chose everything.

      The self-love concept is a popular one. I think we do need value ourselves, be good to and take care of ourselves. The only way I could find it was learning how much God unconditionally loves and values me. If he can love me that much I know I have value, and in gratitude do all I can to honor him for what he has done for me, that includes caring for myself and others.

      My favorite quote is by Nancy Spiegleberg - “Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup, uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better, I'd have come running with a bucket.” This always puts a lump in my throat. We all have our times when we are crawling with an empty cup in some horrible place (our bottom) and we discover this God who gives to us so abundantly and who takes us to that safe harbor.

      God bless you Billybuc for sharing your experience strength and hope.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      W1totalk, it took me the better part of five decades to find it. There is still time for you. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, that was praise that any writer would be proud of. Thank you so much my friend.

      The heatwave is over here but still lovely weather. Bev is working today..I am working today...maybe we will have a barbecue later on this afternoon.

      Happy 4th of July, Kathryn!

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 4 years ago

      I have to admit I am still trying to find my way to this. I do understand and see this as the true safe harbor. Happy 4th billy. Thank you.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      That was so beautiful! I love how you weave quotes through it, and compare life to things that we are familiar with. I also enjoy hearing about your life, and how you came to be at peace with yourself. It is most comforting to know that the safe harbor is inside ourselves. Very inspiring, Bill! Thank you for sharing this with us!

      Voted up and sharing.

      Have a wonderful Independence Day, and I hope the heat wave over your way has passed. Or that you can enjoy your days, despite the heat.

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you drbj and bless you as well. Have a very Happy 4th of July my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, enjoy the water for me. I am appropriately jealous my friend. :)

      Happy 4th of July to you and yours.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Appropos I am sittting on our boot and looking at all the boats..Our safe harbor at least an easy life here. No cooking ,cleaning..just fun and of course writing everyday. Enjoying reading this today and happy 4th to you and your family.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      You do much more than 'help writers to spread their wings and fly,' Bill. You help your readers to live positive, fulfilling lives by openly sharing your own genuine experiences. Bless you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE....I hope you are having a wonderful day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Greg, blessings to you my friend. May we both continue to find happiness in our safe harbors.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 4 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      My friend, thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. I, too found the anchors that were not stable. I have now an anchor that no person, place or thing can move--Jesus. thanks billy--great hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Life is great if we make it so , and experiences make life, and excellent insight to adventures into Safe Harbors: A Moment With Bill Reflection

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, how amazing indeed....I would say you are definitely blessed, and I know for a fact I am the luckiest man alive. :) Thank you and have a wonderful 4th of July.

      blessings to you always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy 4th of July, Faith. It truly is a day of freedom, freedom from tyranny and freedom of self. I am a blessed man...I am loved and I have wonderful friends like you.

      blessings and love always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria! I thought I would try my hand at a metaphor or two. I'm happy that it was well-received, and I greatly appreciate your kind words.

      Peace and love to you always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The same to you, Joe. What good are lessons if we don't share them? My life is an open book for others to learn from my friend.

      Aloha and Happy 4th of July.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I did indeed earn them, and I have no plans on leaving them in this lifetime. Thank you kindly my friend and Happy 4th of July to you and yours.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hello Bill,

      I have had some very difficult times in my life. But, God gave me the greatest gift of all. He gave me my family. We love each other. My parents even though they have died were wonderful. I have two brothers and one sister, a wonderful husband and a daughter, a mother and father in-law. So many people in my family who love each other.

      And God loves me and has forgiven my sins.

      How amazing!

      Thank you so much for writing this!

      God bless you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks for sharing your heart and your powerful testimony! Life is an adventure and I have found my safe harbor too : )

      To be set free from those chains, it true freedom no doubt about dearest Bill!

      One truly must love oneself, to even begin to love others, and once that happens, love abounds!

      Bless you dear heart, Faith Reaper

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      love to read, listen and see other's testimonies. Thanks so much for opening the door of one of the most deepest chamber of your heart. This is very encouraging way to start a day, knowing how people win a struggle and feel the peace after the storm. But, best of all my friend the fact that you are sharing your goals being witness that it is possible to swim out.

      "Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship." Benjamin Franklin

      I love everything that has to do with ships, water and boats. How wonderful you put all together!

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      What a blessing to wake up to find this message of inspiration, delivery, and freedom on this, our country's birthday of liberation! Thank you for baring and sharing your soul with ours, Bill! Aloha, and have a wonderful 4th of July!

      Joe

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      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Thanks, Bill, for sharing your personal epiphanies and the lessons you learned. Your safe harbor and the calm in your life didn't just happen--you earned them. This is one of your most beautiful essays. Voted Up++++

      Happy Fourth of July!

      Jaye

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, thank you my friend and Happy 4th of July to you in Kalamazoo!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, my life is pretty much perfect just the way it is.....and it will only get better if I pay attention to how I live my life. Thank you for your friendship and Happy 4th of July.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, such very kind words...thank you my friend and Happy 4th of July to you as well. I swim every day so I should be a pretty strong swimmer. :)

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      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Awesome, Interesting, and shared with followers and on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

      Thank you for these very true, wise words.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Seriously, I am truly so happy you did choose to swim and met and fell in love with Bev. You are a wonderful person Bill and very much only deserve the best in life and glad at this point that is exactly what you have!! Have wonderful rest of your day and hope you do not work too hard. Happy 4th of July again!!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I think this is the most beautiful piece you've written yet. Yes, you bore your soul, but oh so eloquently! You're an inspiration, not to mention a helluva swimmer!

      Happy 4th of July, my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Pearl and Happy 4th of July. Thank you so much my dear friend. What good are lessons if you don't share them, yes?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, there is always room on my piece of flotsam, so grab hold and we'll make it back to shore safely. Thanks, buddy, and Happy 4th of July.

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is a good thing for me, to look out and see my friend swimming safely to shore. And it is a fine thing that he comforts me by sharing his shipwrecks and survival. While I know not to cling to him is rough waters, I also know that I can follow him to dry land.

      I know you are a friend to many, but I always feel you are writing just for me. Thanks much Bill.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, this is so generous of you! To bare your soul and share your heart with all of us is a gift you continually bestow. I am so glad you found your true safe harbor, because we have all benefited from that discovery!

      Have a wonderful 4th of July, my friend ;) Pearl