You can't stop the waves but you can learn how to surf
Lessons from the sea
As for metaphors, the sea has to be my favourite. Not in the least because it always works for me, whether I’m really happy or feeling slightly dark. Just seeing the waves coming and going, endlessly. Never the same. The intensity, the colour, the smell. It will lift my spirits when I’m feeling down realising that all will pass. It will bring me back to earth if I’m on a high, realising that that too will pass.
Every now and then when I’m really in the flow it will feel like riding the perfect wave. Well, I think that is what it must feel like because I never learned to actually surf.
The other day I was invited to a gathering by someone who moves roughly in the same waters. I tried to imagine going there and something in me told me it wasn’t where I needed to be. I tried to put the feeling into words without judging the intention of the gathering and replied: “Thank you so much for thinking of me. Allow me to decline, I am surfing another wave.” And that was exactly how it felt, just surfing another wave. The perfect analogy. In order to keep moving the sea needs different waves, different depths and rhythms. Watching others live their life I make an effort to honour their wave.
I have been rolling through rough waters these last 18 months. Going head down, scraping the deep sand in the trough of the wave, coming up for air in a panic on the crest. Waiting and breathing deep to let the storm pass before getting up again.
Surfers spend many hours sitting on their board in the deep waters. They know that the art is in deciding which waves not to go for. Whilst you’re on your board you get the time to observe not just what type of wave it is but whether you would want to surf it.
I think I may have found my wave. I’m still holding onto the board but I’m enjoying the swell.