Sometimes it feels like Life is out to get you. Before the ink is dry on one thing, something completely unforeseen hits you from behind, leaving you bloodied and barely able to see. I wish I could mellow out the ocean of life and make the ride less rocky; but waves are simply a part of it. Those who enjoy the ride understand that.
I am not a surfer. I can’t even swim (something on my bucket list to learn to do). However, I’ve been on a boat or two in my day. A couple of years back I went on my first cruise to the Bahamas. I had heard such great things about cruises: the food, the entertainment, visiting more than one place. Perhaps I was so high on memories of watching The Love Boat on television that forgot about movies like Titanic or The Perfect Storm. On the way back, the oceans were rough from a storm nearby. The boat rocked and reeled all night long. There was nothing I could do.
It’s at those moments Life offers us a choice. Are we going to embrace it–rock, reel and all–or are we going to white knuckle our way through, afraid of every rough wave that comes our way?
Sometimes you don’t even hear the question until one day something in you stands up and says “No more intimidation!” Other times, the duration of the storm forces you to adapt or die. One thing’s for certain. The ocean will be the ocean and there are no short cuts off the boat. You aren’t getting off the boat until you get off the boat.
Strangely enough, I believe this is what forces the real us to stand up. It’s when we decide what we’re going to do with the hand we’ve been dealt. Oceans rock. Storms come. Still, I decide what I’m going to do with each moment of every day that I am alive. And so do you. It’s as personal as it is powerful. You decide who you will be during the storm. You decide who you will be after the storm is over. Whether you’ll join the fight: pass the life jackets out, bail water, throw stuff overboard that you don’t need, whether you’ll comfort someone who is afraid, whether you’ll grab that bottle of scotch you’ve been saving and make a toast to Life on Life’s terms. Or whether after it’s over, you’ll spend more time crying over what you had to give up than celebrating that you survived it. This moment is yours. You decide.