Imagine a body of still water, like a lake with not a ripple on the surface, and each of us is sitting on our surfboard. As long as the water surface stays still we can just sit and enjoy the views and maybe have a chat with our neighbour. However, if someone throws in a pebble or a rock, the surface breaks into ripples moving or rocking our board … you and your neighbour(s) might want to get away from the ripples, yet in paddling those ripples increase in your wake, your board is rocking more and more. Ripples can become waves, waves can force you to react to stay onboard.
These ripples and waves can be good or bad. They can be ripples of new insights or waves of angry words trying to push us overboard. We can find ourselves gazing at them interestedly or gripping onto our board for dear life, tensing up, fighting them.
Yet, surfing is a sport that uses waves. If there are no waves you cannot move, but stay perched on your board at a constant distance from others or the beach. A practiced surfer, knows to use the force of a wave, to carry them forward, even allows them to do tricks. He has learnt not to fight but to use that energy.
Why fight the wave of angry words that are shaking your board instead of using the culminating energy to carry you away from its source? Why tense up and try to keep your board where it is, instead of allowing waves of adventure to propel you forward into new waters, before you get bored of the bit of water you have been sitting on for who knows how long?
If you allow it, a wave can even raise you up for a while so you can see further across the horizon. If you allow it, a wave can take you to knew unchartered waters. If you allow it, a wave can carry you along to meet new people and opportunities. And seeing that strong waves will get their way sooner or later, in letting go, you'll even arrive at your new destination more relaxed, healthy and ready to explore and interact.
Next time a wave takes you for a ride, resist the urge to fight and see its good side. Oh, and give me a wave as you scoot past …
Thank you Yvonne Adriaensen-Pols, for this wonderful mental image!