Being in a sailboat in the middle of a stormy sea isn’t my favorite thing to do. Last week I was sailing in the British Virgin Islands during a very windy day at sea. We had to cover nearly 15 miles, with the seas averaging 8-11′ swells, complete with huge crashing-rocking-and-rolling waves and high winds.
We had our friends Arielle and Brian with us on the boat and although they were great troopers, there came a point when it wasn’t as fun as the first 15 minutes in rough seas. At some point the waves were bigger than the boat. I remember being in the lower cabin watching the water go above the windows and then clear again as we’d crest the next wave.
My mind works in random ways. Maybe it was the vertigo of the waves, or too many days at sea, but I spent time pretending I was a fish. I questioned, if I were a fish who lived off of a ridge at 30-40′ in depth, could I tell the difference on a sunny, calm day versus a sunny, windy day?
Would the seas be much different if I went deeper?
If I were swimming at the surface, it would be dramatically different than it would be at 40′ deep. The calm sunny day would be tranquil and basically uneventful, while the stormy day would toss me about from wave to wave and drop me into troughs in between.
But regardless of the weather- sunny or stormy, could I tell the difference if I went deeper? The deeper I go, the more stable it is- regardless of what’s happening at the surface.
Just life anything in nature from a mighty oak tree to the tiniest flower, the deeper you go the more sturdy the plant. And, like the laws of physics, there is less rocking in the bottom deck of a ship than on the top deck because you’re closer to the fulcrum point.
I can tell you from my experience as a scuba diver, life as a fish (or a diver) is much more predictable and calm at 40′ deep than it is on the surface.
Just like life, the deeper you go the less motion and turbulence you get in life. If you live your life at the surface you will be susceptible to the passing winds and the turbulence of each passing day. At the surface you’ll be tossed about by each passing wave or breeze.
However, if you go deeper within yourself, you’ll find stability that you might not have remembered was there. For when you connect to the deeper part of who you are, you cannot be tossed about like a small boat in a big ocean. You’ll realize instead that you ARE the ocean. And from that realization, comes confidence and stability.
When you take the time to go deeper to the core of who you are, there’s much less turbulence around you and you’re much less attached to the turbulence of what appears to be happening at the surface of your life.
So next time life seems to be tossing you about the waves, dive a bit deeper into the core of who you are. From that place of stability you’re better able to weather the storm, even if the waves at the surface are big ones.