Becoming a skilled sailor: Navigating through life

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

I’ve seen this quote many times in the past and thought it was very true but this week, as I took the ferry home over some very rough seas, I got thinking more about it.

I thought about the pilot of the boat and how skilled he must be to ensure we didn’t capsize as the waves thrashed us about ferociously. I thought about what got him to that point to where he knew how to maneuver through the unpredictable turns the waves took. I was impressed, to say the least. I knew if I were driving the boat, we would surely be dead in minutes.

If you think about it in terms of our own individual lives, you can see that we all go through tough times in life which impact us immensely. Mostly, we come through those tough times with lessons learnt which make us stronger and better prepared for the next wave that comes across us. If someone else were to take control of your life for a moment, they wouldn’t have the same experience and lessons to understand the impact their decisions would have on your life.

I was having a conversation with a friend last night about that feeling you get when you see someone in trouble, who really needs help. We talked about how, as hard as it is and as much as you want to, you know you can’t tell them the answers or what to do. Even though you can see the answers clearly yourself. It’s a hard place to be because, from your own experience you know and can see the answers clearly. But for that person who’s currently going through their own experience, they can’t yet see what’s ahead of them.

I met a person this week who I felt the need to help and, as much as I knew the answers and could see clearly what she needed to do, it was not my place to tell her. I listened to her vent and tell me what she felt comfortable to share about her situation. I struggled as I heard her explain a situation very similar to what I had been in myself previously. Seeing her feel hopeless, like there was no answer to her problem was difficult. I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be ok, but I knew she was in no place to listen.

As painful as it is, we must let others go through their life’s journey themselves. All we can really do to help them is be there for them. Listen and lend an ear of support. Guide them when they’re absolutely lost and hope they see the light for themselves.

When I thought more about the situation I was in that this person had described, I knew that if someone had tried to tell me what to do to handle the situation, I wouldn’t have listened. I also wouldn’t have learned the lessons that I needed to learn. What I’ve learnt from my own experience has been invaluable and has made me the person I am today. It’s the reason this person turned to me as, what they perceived to be, an expert in the area they needed help in.

I’m by no means an expert but I’ve learned what she will one day learn for herself, hopefully. And hopefully she doesn’t have to learn the hardest way like I had to. I seem to make a habit out of learning my lessons the hard way though. And I wouldn’t have it any other way to be honest. Because as they say, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” To be the most skilled at my life, I plan on taking the challenging paths. I plan on going through unfamiliar waters and seeing where they take me.

I’ll continue to write about my experiences and the lessons I learn in hopes that those reading this blog, who need help, may find inspiration to guide them in the right direction. Or those that have experienced similar can know they’re not alone. That we’re all in this beautiful thing called life together but navigating through it on our own different journeys.

And, though you need to go through your own journey to learn your lessons, please know that I’m always here if you need. That I’ll always listen and be beside your while you’re on your journey. Whilst it’s your own journey, you’re never alone.

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If you are in need of help, or want a friendly unbiased ear to listen, please don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact page at the top.

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Thank you Brit Army x

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