Life Lessons from the Sea #3: Surviving the Gales of Life

The ocean is constantly moving, shifting back and forth against the shores of the world. Currents twine themselves through that sea of movement, maintaining their integrity in the face of a greater, sometimes chaotic force.

So it is with us. We chart a course for ourselves across the turbulent sea of life. Like sailors, steering by the north star, we navigate best when we have a goal in mind and principles to guide us. But setting our path is not a one-time occurrence. All too often, gales alter our direction. A prime example of this is seen in the lives of recent tornado victims. Loved ones lost. Homes destroyed. Health damaged. Jobs gone.

Yet these people pick themselves up, right their boat, so to speak, and continue sailing. I’ve seen it again and again in friends and acquaintances who’ve survived natural disasters. It takes time, but they regain control of their lives. How do they do it?
1.      They refuse to be defined by their troubles, no matter how severe.
2.      They express gratitude for things that are easily taken for granted, like sunshine, friends, the ability to walk.
3.      They choose to be tough.
4.      They’re proactive, working hard to take control of their lives.
5.      They help others do the same.
6.      When they need to cry, they do, and they aren’t ashamed.
7.      They choose to be positive.
8.      They deepen their faith.
9.      They reach out to others to give and receive support.
10.  Once life has stabilized, they resume their quest to reach their goals.
It’s usually not a natural disaster that blows us off course. Sickness, injury, financial hardship, discouragement—these are a few of the tempests that enter our lives. When they do, hold fast to your goals, steer by your guiding principles. You will triumph in the end.
What difficulty upended your world and how did you work your way through it? Or are you still?

  • I’m still working through troubles from my past and learning to go on with the future. I’ve struggled so much I don’t even remember what goals I used to have.

    • My heart goes out to you, Kisa. I hope you find comfort and peace. Don’t give up. Thanks for sharing.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • My life has been in constant flux. Now that I’m retired, my life is sailing smoothly. I never forget to thank God for my blessings and everything my hisband I have endured. Hardships have made us stronger. I deleted this because I forgot to add I’m visiting from UBC.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It’s encouraging to see someone who’s braved challenges and come out smiling in the end. Hardships are certainly no fun when we’re in the middle of them, but it’s true that they grant us strength. I believe that when we look for the good in the tough things we’ve been through, we can usually find it. Even holocaust survivors tell us that. There still may be exceptions, but I do think that an attitude of gratitude will bring hope and peace into our lives. Thanks for your comments!

  • I had heart surgery over two years ago, and have had chronic migraines for the last two years as well. My husband is overseas until next March, so I’m struggling with it alone in an empty house. Bleh. LOL Still getting through a storm, but I’m learning and getting stronger from what doesn’t kill me! 🙂 You just have to keep going.

    • You’re right, you just have to keep going. Life will ease up. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ah, the ebb and flow of life…our attitudes in the difficult times all depend on where we place our trust. Thanks for that reminder.