Faith is the key to weather any storm, life experience or transition. Faith has held me steady in strong winds and forceful seas miles from shore. The sun remains above the clouds and rain and the seas will become calm again. We will be better for our lessons if we stay the course.
One day a storm blew up strong and fast and was worse than predicted. Violent storms rising at sea can ignite fear at the core of my being. In the critical moment when the boat lists and the waves spill over the gunnels washing the cockpit clean I tremble. Surrendering to the wind and waves, bobbing up and down between the swells with seemingly lack of control of the vessel. The struggling to stay on course gets your full attention. Believe me you are in the moment.
Our sailboat Emma-Mia (named after my granddaughters Emma-Lee and Mia short for Amelia) rocked back and forth with what seemed like little advancement toward home at the mercy of the storm. Let me just say I was the only one on board who was terrified, praying. The girls would laugh and howl at the wind and shriek with laughter when a wave came over the side and soaked them. They had no fear. Of course I knew all the bad things that could happen and I was responsible for these beautiful girls. They taught me to relax and embrace the moment, calming me enough to react more purposefully. Papa captained the boat with the winds high. A memory was being created.
Our rain gear did little against the direction of the wind and rain. We were soaked, cold and tired. Taking my turn at the wheel under the guidance of my husband. He suggested that I had to be able to handle the boat in any weather just in case, right? “In case of what?” I said. “In case I get hit in the head with the boom or knocked overboard”. It took all my strength to grip the wheel and hold her steady gently guiding her up one swell and down the other. Through the pellets of rain and the splashing of seawater we lost sight of the lighthouse, our view of land could no longer guide us home. Grateful for our instruments, we knew where we were and where we wanted to go. We just couldn’t see our destination. A sailboat does not go from point A to point B in a straight line. We tacked back and forth to make headway. Cursing the sea would not get us home; we chose to embrace our journey.
At last we reached our homeport and disembarked the vessel. The swell of gratitude rising in my being is beyond words. We are safe and we are on land. I take a deep breath and release a heavy sign, had I forgotten to breathe, was I holding my breath? Many storms have come and gone, no two the same. I have survived them all. All was never lost as I am still here. Emma-Mia our 30-foot sailboat was solid and held tight in all weather, she always did. I learned to trust her and the sea, riding the waves would become fun overtime, a challenge, and an art of maneuvering. I learned to amuse myself by merging, molding and melting into the flow of the sea.
There have been storms in my life where I have screamed out for mercy, for help, for release of the pain, for making things different that they were. I pleaded for understanding, a reason for the chaos, events gone wrong and suffering. One moment exclaiming there is no God. The next moment I ask why God was punishing me, irrational rationalizing. Faith helps me to keep my head, not to despair no matter what happens and without demanding proof of the outcome. At some level intellectually we know when a storm hits that the sun still exists above the clouds. The sun will come out again and the seas will calm, but inside the storm my mind does not quiet long enough for that remembering. Faith is my anchor.
My sailing experiences over fifteen years taught me rich lessons in faith. Accepting all weather conditions bringing me lessons from Mother Nature without anger while gaining confidence in my skills. Feeling truly grateful and blessed each and every sail to be free of land, responsibilities of life and harnessing the wind to power us along. Being on the water gave me much time to meditate and be one with and honor the water, sky, wind and earth.
Taking a leap of faith, surrendering to the universe does not mean do nothing. It means to take inventory, be in the moment, focus, hold your course trusting the sun still exists above the rain and clouds.
Our perspective determines our response to events with fear or faith.
Breathing and being present in the moment calms the mind and focuses our attention.
Taking a risk to learn a new skill even when you are afraid leads to ease in the future and overcoming fear.
Trust in our ourselves to stay the course even when we can’t see our destination.
Confidence comes with experience and lightening up helps to go with the flow.
Remembering to be grateful when we reach our destination.
A leap of faith is enough.