She could not believe how difficult it was to sail a seaworthy boat.
Her attempts to sail Out to Sea were not succeeding. True, she learned something essential with each new try… but she just couldn’t seem to get a good feel for her vessel. She knew instinctively not to try her luck on the high seas until she could trust herself to be a good Captain of her ship.
And there was the crux of the problem. She did not trust herself to properly sail her boat.
When she was younger, she would jump in her boat and sail right off. She would be thrilling to the salty sea smell and the wind in her hair, when suddenly someone would pull up next to her in a speedboat shrieking. “What are you doing?!,” they would cry, or “Why are sailing that way?” Shocked out of her reveries, she would become uncertain and unsteady, and her boat would veer off course. And they would say, “See. That is no way to sail a boat.”
So she began to study the others to see how they sailed their boats. She could clearly see them doing things she didn’t do, but why they did those things made no sense to her. Regardless, she would get back in her boat and try to do what she saw the others doing. But, sure enough, the others would cry, “That is NOT how you do it, WHAT is wrong with you?” And she would get flustered and cry and drift away on the currents.
Still, she studied the others some more. She noticed that there were things she did that the others did not do. Perhaps the key to sailing her boat was to stop doing all these things. She got back in her boat to give this a try. But it was too hard to remember not to do all the things that came so naturally to her, and to do all those things that the others did. She got so confused and turned around that she crashed her boat on some nearby rocks. The others just shook their heads in disapproval, and she resigned herself to riding in other people’s boats.
Now that she was older and was trying once again to set sail, all the things she knew she should and shouldn’t do came crowding back in on her. It was terribly frightening to even get in the sail boat with such a ruckus going on inside her head. She would muster her determination and set out courageously, but she could tell it was going all wrong. Her eyes would begin to sting and blur, her lips would quiver, and her boat would veer off course.
Today, she sprawled out comfortably in a hammock on the shore to study her boat and contemplate this problem. The sky was sunny and blue, the air was warm and sweet smelling with exotic flowers, and she was cool and comfortable in the shade of a tree. The gentle breeze and lapping waves lulled her eyes closed, and as the hammock gently swayed, she fell into a daydream of days long ago. Her hair blowing, the salty air, the swaying movement of the boat beneath her feet, rocking with the rhythm as if she was born to do just that. She hadn’t worried about it, she just did it… because she hadn’t had any reason not to trust herself.
She sat up. She was never going to get comfortable sailing the way the others did, precisely because she was supposed to sail the boat the way it came naturally to her to do so!
She rushed to the docks to share her epiphany with her many fellow Captains who had been cheering her on in this special, safe bay. “I have to steer my boat the way that comes naturally to me!!,” she called out gleefully, jumping, and clapping. The others here smiled and nodded. “But the speed boats throw me off course!”
“Well then”, her flotilla decided, “we will sail around you to keep the speed boats away, so that you can reawaken the Captain inside you, who knows how you are truly meant to sail.”
I trust myself to sail my ship.
There are others I can trust to sail with me.
I trust Life (the Universe and Everything) to provide resources and opportunities.
From this foundation of Trust will grow my Autonomy.
Inspired by Chapter 3 of Crossing the Unknown Sea, by David Whyte, and Invictus by William Ernest Henley.