The Bilge Pump

By Greg Baer M.D.

December 26, 2016

Linda called and said, “I’m tired of dealing with that woman from HR (Human Resources). Every few days she has some kind of complaint about me or our department.”

After talking with Linda for a couple of minutes, it became obvious that the woman from HR was empty and afraid, and that she got quite a sense of power from intimidating people and bossing them around.

“Imagine for a moment,” I suggested to Linda, “that both of you are ships at sea, carrying the same cargo from one port to another.”

“Okay,” she said. “That is kind of what we’re doing when we work together.”

“You’re also wooden ships, which always leak to some extent, with the seawater accumulating in the bottom of the ship. Sailors refer to this location as the bilge, and they regularly evacuate this water to the sea by means of bilge pumps. With Real Love in your life, you have a nicely functioning bilge pump, so that when the inevitable leaks and waves spill water into the ship, you have a way to pump out the water and stay nicely afloat.”

“I must admit, I have felt much stronger at work over the past several months.”

“I can imagine so. The lady in HR, however, has either a pump that malfunctions regularly, or she has no pump at all. The stresses of life—the water of the sea—accumulate, and she has no healthy way to deal with them. It might help you to see her as slowly sinking in the waves and capable only of ineffectively thrashing about in her attempts to feel less helpless. With that perspective, you might well take action to help her rather than to feel irritated by her emptiness and fear.”

It is so easy to find fault with people who behave in unloving, childish, and destructive ways. But then we become afraid and unloving ourselves, which helps no one.

You can learn to see people differently, and with the power of Real Love—with functioning bilge pumps—you can weather the storms of life with much greater ease and grace.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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