Your Ship Is Not Going Anywhere If You Don't Set Sail

Your Ship Is Not Going Anywhere If You Don’t Set Sail

Vastness. Beauty. Unpredictability.

Maybe God made the ocean far more vastly expansive than our eyes have the capacity to see, far more teeming with beauty under its surface than we could imagine, and far past unpredictable on a daily basis to serve as a reminder of what it means to live, to thrive, to truly fully dive into feeling deeply alive in every moment of our daily lives.

Ups. Downs. Waves.

Smooth sailing, rough storms, and back to smooth sailing again, only to be brushed with the cool breeze of the reality that these cycles are natural, happening again and again over century and millennia. No sense of predictability or consistency exists in life or at sea…the only constant, it seems, is change.

Think about that, though.

If waves didn’t bob up and down, if storms didn’t stir up the earth a little every now and then, if cloudiness and rough waters didn’t appear every once in a while…would we really be able to appreciate the striking, jaw-dropping captivation that comes with staring into a cranberry sunset and still waters? It turns out that maybe the insanity of the sea is there for a reason.

Just as water literally mirrors our reflections back to us, the seasons of the sea are thus reflective of those within our own lives. We can neither see past the crystal horizon nor past today into tomorrow. We exhaust ourselves, wearily pushing through, constantly and feverishly reaching for more, for greater, for bigger….so much so that we don’t see the brilliance of what is already around us when things are still.

We forget that some of the most undeniable miracles lie both already within us and around us all the same. We see storms as inconveniences, as the end of the world, yet we relish in our contempt for boredom and restlessness when the calm rushes in. We want the wind to push our sails forward, to rush into the ending culmination of discovery without feeling every nautical mile of the journey.

To the untrained mind, it’s always too much or too little, too strong or too weak, too blinding or too minuscule. We crave massive and immediate victories, and we’ve been trained to think clear skies are the only way to ever possibly navigate through this voyage of life.

We feverishly foam with angst and frustration, becoming salty when things don’t go our own way, as enraged as a tidal wave at the ocean of circumstances around us that we forget the reality of what lies deep within us…our power. The ocean is an unending ether of water and salt, yet it’s a space filled with an endless expanse of beauty that brings people of all backgrounds, circumstances, ages, and perspectives to their knees in awe of its wonder, strength, and above all…power.

All that we are? Water. Salt and minerals. Chemical reactions that somehow, only by the grace of a million biological and historical chances and factors uniting at once at the hand of a mighty greater power, happened. At exactly the right time, at exactly the right place in the world, in exactly the order, each and every one of us was given entrance to this world. Just like the ocean, you don’t need a reason to be powerful, stunning, mysterious, or beautiful beyond the reach of words. 

Sometimes, there will be violent hurricanes that rock you to your core, and you’ll never see them coming. Sometimes, life will feel just as the doldrums, tranquil and peacefully muted, lacking any stimulation you need to get back on your feet. But sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll feel it. You’ll realize it doesn’t matter what’s happening around you, because you’re the only one standing at the helm of your life.  

When you doubt your ability to steer clearly through murky or troubled or choppy waters, rest assured. The world and the universe and God, they all know your beauty and your strength and your grace, and there are people who would give anything to drop all they have to come and just sit by you for a bit. Feel that support. Let your energy manifest.

We all have to let the circumstances of this life happen as they will. At the end of the day, they are mere blips in the time-space continuum, perhaps divinely designed to purposely test you, to try you, or to manipulate your mind into accepting the illusion of their permanence. Storms and rocks and uncharted waters will send chills down your spine and bring the salt that lies within you to the surface sometimes. Whether it’s through tears rolling down your face or through sweat pouring out of your skin, it’s true…life makes us pretty salty sometimes. But that’s where the life-giving water of grace and joy and inborn soulful strength rush in.

And that strength’s identity is simple: mindfulness. It’s knowing that if the tides didn’t rise and fall and if we didn’t get lost in the sea that is life every now and again…what kind of story would that be to tell our grandchildren?

If someone were to write an adventure novel about your life one day, would it be worth writing if it weren’t for the steep downturns to accentuate and glorify the ups? Is it really called a comeback if there’s nothing to recover from?

The next time you’re worried or weakened by the winds of change or turbulence, breathe deeply. The magnitude of the change in your perspective will be breathtakingly phenomenal when you realize that these waves are just part of your story. The storms are just part of what makes your novel an adventure, and no matter what happens, you are brilliantly safeguarded by the ineradicable fact that no matter what your religion or relationship with God or a higher power right now, you are irrevocably and unquestionably this: mighty.

But how? Why? Because for whatever reason, somewhere along the way, whatever created the fierce and stoking power that lies within the sea decided it was time for an equally powerful creation to be born to this world as well: you.

The only thing that remains to be decided is whether or not you recognize that you’re the captain of your ship. When you realize it, you’ll be speechless. Once you put your hands on the helm and look up, the stir of the sea — though it makes us tremble sometimes — was never there to pull you down, but to propel you forward.

Life’s waters and her limitless power really are on the side of your sails after all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Way too enthusiastic about bourbon, whales, and oxford commas.

Keep up with Katie on Instagram, Twitter and