Karla’s Korner: Adjust Your Sails
Adjust Your Sails….
Elizabeth Edwards wrote, “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails”. Edwards was faced with more than her fair share of obstacles, life storms if you will and each time she chose to face the storms and figure out how to overcome them without losing herself in the process. Losing her son Wade at the age of 19 was just one of the life storms that could have destroyed her will to move on; to continue to live a purposeful life. Edwards found herself adjusting the sails of her life boat on more than one occasion but each time she was not only able to see herself through the storm but to become a better person not only for herself but for her family and those close to her. When faced with breast cancer in 2004 she found herself adjusting her sails toward a positive attitude attempting to beat the cancer. Unfortunately, in 2010 Edwards lost her battle with breast cancer but always remained gracious, hopeful and positive.
During a recent conversation with someone regarding struggle they shared with me that they just don’t understand how bad things happen to good people. It’s as if society thinks that only bad stuff can and should happen to a certain group of people, but in reality nobody is too privileged to skip over the tough stuff. In her quote, Edwards indicates that sometimes we must adjust ourselves, our attitude in order to manage the tough stuff, the challenges that will fall our way from time to time. It’s important, necessary to adjust your life sails to get you through the tough stuff. Understanding, coming to grips with the fact that bad things can and will happen will in fact help make those times of struggle, those life storms a bit easier to handle. Much like being prepared when the weather man predicts rain taking an umbrella or wearing rain boots, we must be prepared and willing to accept when the weather in our lives changes from sunny to cloudy and beyond.
We cannot expect our life weather to remain perfect without a few storms; it’s just not going to happen. In fact, it’s those storms that make us grow. When a farmer plants his crops for a season he does all that he can to ensure that the ground is prepared properly and that the seeds are planted correctly but without the rain his seeds will not flourish, they will remain in the ground unmoved, unchanged and dormant. We are like that seed planted in life needing to be cultivated, nurtured and rained on in order to sprout and grow into the person we are meant to become. We need to be rained on and sometimes with the rain comes a storm; a storm that will challenge us but in the end nourish our souls with a life lesson that will ensure growth, maturity and clarity as we move through to the rainbow side of the storm. We must, however, keep in mind that the rainbow moments will not last forever and that a storm front will move in again. Learning to adjust our sails in the midst of these storms is important and by doing so we will find that facing the challenges will be a bit easier.
I encourage you to examine your life sails, figure out what is important to experience and then do it. Once in a while it’s necessary to just stand in the rain and allow yourself to get wet. And when the storm is over, grab a towel dry yourself off and keep moving forward. Life is about experiences, moments, good and bad that when put together becomes your own unique story. Fill each page with meaning and purpose. Don’t excuse yourself from the storms, embrace them, adjust your sails, face them with a positive attitude and you will be able to sail through it a bit easier or at least great courage and the knowledge that just outside of the storm will be a rainbow moment for you to enjoy.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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