BY SHEENA BLAKE
Life tends to have all types of dips and turns and plateaus a plenty. Sometimes, things are clear and smooth and nothing is out of the ordinary. During these times, we often forget that opposite times exist. We move through our days with ease, perhaps judge another person’s misfortune and continue riding the easy waves. Until something disrupts our ease. It may be a large disruption or a small one. Either way, the easy waves have shifted into turbulent and challenging waves. But, when the challenging waves come, we forget that goodness exists. All we see is roughness and toughness. It really is amazing!
Today’s column is about riding waves and being able to remember that calm waves exist while it’s rough and rough waves exist while it’s calm.
Admittedly, I have discovered that I tend to want to get out of the water completely when the waves are rough. And, although literally, it seems reasonable to tell myself to leave the water when the waves are rough, I am realizing that learning how to ride some rough waves will not only make me stronger, it will also make me better at life.
I share this because whether it is in our relationships with our children, partners, siblings or friends, business or work, we cannot always just leave the toughness of the situation, even though we may want to.
This discussion cannot be had without looking at WHY we need to stay. Well, in all honesty, sticking it out is the difference with everything. Most couples to whom I have asked, “what is the secret to your long-lasting relationship,” have replied by noting that “neither of us ever left”. Ok, yes, there are people that would be better off without each other. There are jobs that we may be better suited for, but we really will not know any of this without really putting in the work to stick around. Staying and riding the rough waves gives us perspective, wisdom and understanding.
Do you remember learning to ride a bike or teaching your children how to ride a bike? I have yet to meet a person who did not fall over and over until they figured out how to ride a bike without falling. This is not a speech about not quitting as much as it is a discussion about seeing something until its end. Now, when we are riding bikes, we forget how much effort it was to learn how to ride them in the first place. We forget how, when we were young, we scraped our knees and elbows; we bumped our heads and balled our eyes out.
Think on it. I know riding a bike is completely different than say running a business or dealing with a child with special needs or making it work with a partner or parent. I know that the scrapes and bruises are in your heart, now, no longer on your knees and elbows. I know that the bike and the wave are only figurative ideas, but I also know that with almost anything in life, if we run instead of sticking it out, we miss out on invaluable lessons. There are certain truths and wisdoms that we just cannot have without staying around to learn from the tough parts.
Sticking it out takes strength and practice. Try to be gentle with yourself, breaking habits is a difficult process, but if it can be done, then you can do it!
I’d love to know how you weather the storm. Email me anytime.