Surfing the waves of life

It really is quite a beautiful ride isn’t it…?

How often we get caught up in life and forget to see the bigger picture, lose perspective. I would think by now I’d know as well as anyone that attitude is everything, but even I go through days, weeks that I let my experiences and emotions win out over truth, knowledge, and faith.

Contrary to popular belief, happiness is not a result of circumstance. It is not left up to chance. It is a state of the heart that comes by choice. When we’re miserable, it’s hard to hear we’re choosing it. Really hard. I’ve known, intellectually, for years this simple fact, this fact that our attitude controls us. By our attitude, we either fall or fly. Yes, it’s simple. Simple, not easy.

If you have a passion, pursue it. If you have a dream, dare to believe. If you want something, reach out and take it. Marianne Williamson once said, “ Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Fear holds us back in life, a lot actually, doesn’t it? What if we can’t do it? What if we won’t measure up? What if we fail? What if we look stupid? What if we get made fun of? What if we’re misunderstood? My question is, “So what?”

In the movie Soul Surfer, teenage saltwater queen, Bethany Hamilton, doesn’t understand why after blowing it at regionals, her first competition after losing one of her arms to a shark attack, she gets letters from fans who are cheering for her and looking forward to her future competitions. She wonders, “Why?” Bethany’s movie mom, played by Helen Hunt, replies, “You tried.”

Isn’t that really what it’s all about? Isn’t that what we are called to do in this life? Try? Maybe it’s less about succeeding or failing and more about what we learn in the process, the experience we gain, the smarter we get, the stronger we become. As Americans we are so focused on the success, and I think we miss the whole point in between. It’s like having tunnel vision.

I’ve had so many ups and downs over the past few months in my life. It seems like there’s been days where I’m feeling so low and alone and I just don’t see a way out, and yet there’s other days, like tonight while watching this Soul Surfer movie that I just find myself in tears, not only because of the incredible story and example set by Bethany Hamilton, but by the sheer beauty of life. I feel like something is slowly awakening inside. The light shines brighter than ever before, Satan pushes back and I’m miserable for a few days, then the cross shortly wins out over the darkness, and again, and back and forth. But in the end, the cross will always win. Light will always win. Truth. Life.

A smile spreads across my face as I think of the world of possibilities ahead of me. It’s so incredible how there will always be more to learn, more to explore, more to do. And I don’t know anything more exciting than spending every day learning, exploring and doing. Whether it’s riding horses charting unknown trails, running through sprinklers with the dogs, getting a scuba diving license, standing in the small shelter given by a life guard stand on Tybee in the middle of a thunderstorm witnessing the unforgiving beauty and power of mother nature, dancing-especially when you know you look ridiculous, singing even though you can’t carry a tune, smiling at a stranger, seeing a kid make a new discovery about the world, just LIVING.

Life is too precious to waste a single second of it. No matter who you are and where you come from. God doesn’t care where you come from, He only cares where you’re going. Even, as Bethany demonstrates with brilliant grace, if you only have one arm.

http://www.sheilasmartphotography.com.au ; copyright: Sheila Smart

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Categories: Self-Improvement | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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