My Ship Comes Home: A Self-Love Journey

Darlene Lancer LMFT
Sailboat in clouds (Article has affiliate links benefiting author)Photo byJohannes Plenio

I’d been searching all my life,
Never knowing why,
Seeking answers without questions,
Afraid to live, afraid to die.

I looked worldwide, tried meditation,
Fueling my desire,
In books, in mind, found fascination,
Thinking I was climbing higher.

Sports and pleasures, men to love,
Yearning after each new goal,
Ecstatic highs to float above
Never soothed my restless soul.

In all the work I’ve tried and done,
My eyes were on my dreams,
Despite the praise, success, and fun,
What’s real was never what it seemed.

For many years I stayed asleep,
Dreaming through my life,
Living others’ plans for me,
A daughter, lawyer, mother, wife.

On waking one day from my slumber
I found a wasteland all around.
So hard to crawl back out from under,
I began a journey homeward bound.

I lacked a ship to start my voyage.
No sails courageous or iron mast.
No map to chart my course unknown.
No rudder strong in trust steadfast.

Tidal waves would lie ahead
Of pain and grief and fear unseen,
My past arising from the dead,
The nightmare that was once the dream.

I looked for signs but saw only darkness.
I had no compass for direction.
I’d sail, and drift, and sink again,
But winds of love were my protection.

I rode the waves, my boat capsizing,
Through a never-ending stormy night.
Then gradually a dawn was rising,
Happiness was in my sight.

I found a love within my heart
And peace I’d never known.
After searching everywhere,
I learned my “Self” was always home.

© Darlene Lancer 2003

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Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and expert author on relationships, narcissism, and codependency. She’s counseled individuals and couples for over 30 years and coaches internationally. Her books include "Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You," "Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist - Essential Tools for Improving or Leaving Narcissistic and Abusive Relationships," and "Codependency for Dummies," plus seven ebooks, webinars, and other resource materials. Her books are available on Amazon, other online booksellers and her website,, where you can get a free copy of “14 Tips for Letting Go.”

Los Angeles, CA

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