Maneuvering The Sails

Take heart and take the challenge. Allow it to make you, not break you.

Can you be 40 and still feel lost? A friend once asked me. I said yes. You can be 80 or 90 and have it all, but still, feel lost at times.

Nobody has come across a life manual or rulebook until one stumbles upon the Bible.  The Book contains all the wisdom one can ever need to not only survive life but to live it to the full.

Yet having known the truth against the lies, and being able to distinguish good from the bad doesn’t guarantee one’s victory. It’s one’s action that does.

I’ve met people who have struggled since childhood – – born to a poor family or a broken home, a victim of abuse, disease or disability, or a product of consecutive failures.  Surprisingly, though, every one of them didn’t turn out the same- some settled, but some persisted and changed the course of their lives.  The lesson:  We are not a product of our circumstances.  Rather, we are a product of our own choices.

Then you reach that stage when life is smooth sailing: you’ve covered all bases, you feel prepared and secured, everything is working well just like you wanted it to, and after some time you forget.  A simple truth slipped your memory: that the hundred moments you’re living in is a just a season, and some day soon it will be over too. Life shakes you up like that.

Just when you get too comfortable, a disruption happens and knocks you off with a big blow.  A sudden loss, an accident, sickness, a job loss, a change in your circumstances.  If we’ve kept these possibilities in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised, but if not, that’s when the challenge starts.

Is challenge good? Yes!  Why? Because it’s the pruning process that makes us better and makes us grow.  If we don’t grow, we die. We’re not so different from the plants and the trees.

The lesson: Take heart and take the challenge. Allow it to make you, not break you.

Feeling lost haunts everybody at one point in time.  For one reason, we tend to overthink. We lose touch with what matters and realize that we’ve been chasing the wrong things all along.  Knowing this now compels us to step back, reassess everything, recognize where we are and determine where we want to go. If necessary, eliminate the distractions. Simplify.  Focus. Thereafter you’ll be ready to set the sails again and follow through your designed course.

Feeling lost can happen when you’re starting over too.  Like, when life takes something or someone away from you and you need to rebuild your world from broken pieces. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.  You just need the strength of will to let go and move on.  It’s not over until it’s over.  So don’t waste your time holding on to what already belongs to the past, rather embrace the now and expect a better future. 

Don’t be scared of what lies ahead.  Remember the courage and boldness you once had when you were a kid. Use it to propel you into a brighter future- one that’s colored like a rainbow with glittering sunshine, glowing butterflies, chirping birds, blue streams, blooming flowers and breathtaking trees. Keep your hopes up. Life can be as beautiful as you would want it to be. You have the power to shape it.

 

The Journey

What’s between start to finish, is the greatest reward you’re gonna get.

Every person has the power to write his own story. Every person has the power to realize his own dreams. And even if these dreams don’t make it to one’s reality, in the end, what matters is that the person, who could be me or you, took the chance and we did what we knew we had to do. It’s not really about what we get, but more of what we become after that.  The journey is more important than the destination, and it’s more exciting too! Let me tell you why.

I’ve traveled several times with friends.  We went to places we thought we could only dream of. We explored cities, cultures, but what made it more exciting was the fact that we actually did it on our own. Equipped with a book, a map, research notes and a strong desire for adventure, we tread unfamiliar waters, finding every spot listed in our itinerary.  And yes we succeeded, of course with a little help from the locals.  Ticking off everything we had in our checklist felt really satisfying! When I look back, I realize I have actually gained more than just reaching destinations. I’ve learned and realized the value of:

1)  Trust

Trust in me to be able to carefully plan out a trip, and carry it out.

Trust in my friends, their opinion, their suggestions. Trust that they’ll be there for me when I need them the most.

Trust in people we met along the way, those who offered help, directions, shared our cabin or room. Most of them even shared their own stories, and journeys, and well, some indulged us with chocolates and cherries. Most days we got lucky 🙂

2)  Planning

Planning is essential and to me, it’s the most exciting part. You have to make up your mind about where you want to go, what you want to experience or accomplish, figure out how to get there, where to stay the night, etc.  Everything had to be worked out given a specified timetable.

3)  Flexibility

You have to learn to exercise this muscle especially when life throws you surprises.  You have to make use of the time you have and the opportunity you’ve been given, to deliberately choose not to waste every single moment. Things may not always work out according to plan, but that’s just life telling you to pause, to relish the beauty around you, to talk to a stranger, to enjoy the rain.  It’s good to welcome possibilities believing that everything that comes your way may actually be better for you. Delays and detours are not that bad you know.

4)  Gifts

You learn how to value the things being alive brings. Time, opportunity, experience, and people, to name a few.

You see, a lot of things would have already happened even before you reach the end of the journey.  All of it honed you, accomplished something within you, and made you a better you. What’s between start to finish, is the greatest reward you’re gonna get.  So write your own story, your own ending, but as you do, live the time in between, and live it to the full!