Analogy for life : The mercy of the sea.

The mercy of the sea

"Maybe we don't realize we are at the mercy of the sea.

 Maybe we think our own wiles and skills ensure that we will arrive safely at the port of our choosing.

 Of course we can, to some extent, master the sea. We can study it and come to know the patterns of its waves and currents. We can learn how to handle a boat, how to read the instruments. We can become expert sailors. But if we think that we are in charge, that we can dictate the way the rolling waves of our life stories will go, we are sadly mistaken. In fact, as any sailor knows, you cannot control the elements.

 If your want to sail, you must cooperate with the sea, yield to its motion, and give it all due respect. To get where you want to go, you must be attentive, fluid, and obedient, like water. Most of what makes a life satisfying and resonant lies outside the sphere of our personal skills and powers. We have been conditioned to think that we shape our lives far more than we actually do and this is why, our plan, outside the linear narrative flow of our life-tale, arises.

To respect the sea is to trust that we can welcome life's immense and unknowable currents rather than resist them, even when they seem to be drawing us to shores we don't want to visit. We live our lives too much on small islands of conscious awareness and control.

Homecoming requires that we set out to sea, as Odysseus does, and give ourselves over to its powers and its gods. The journey home cannot be predetermined. We may not always enjoy the sea's course-altering storms and paralyzing calms. But we must sail forth."

Norman Fischer

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