“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” ~Booker T. Washington

June 22nd, 2010

I have sailed out to where the water turns deep blue, trusting my boat, trusting the wind, and the rudder.  I have sailed without incident.

I have sailed into clear blue sky with the wind at my back, only to come around and be greeted by an ominous cloud with a mean cartoon-like face.  The cloud had followed me out to sea hiding quietly, stealthily at my back.  To return home, I had to face him, inch toward him, open my sails and press on with the hull at a 45 degree angle and land farther up the shore than where I had embarked.

Although I was frightened and my safety threatened, it never occurred to me to quit sailing.  Indeed, I trusted again – my boat, the wind, the rudder – because of the pure joy of sailing.

Is it any different with people?  They are as unpredictable as the weather – quietly, stealthily hiding at your back, doing you wrong when you least expect it.  And yet, we are afraid to give them a second chance.  Our hearts slam shut. The hinges grow rusty and corroded as we cower in the corners of our trembling hearts vowing never to trust again.

But what are we missing by shutting down?  The sun, the wind, the water lapping up against the boat?  Fellow travelers smiling and waving, acknowledging a shared joy of life?  Can we dare to open our sails, let our guard down, to see what might be discovered this time?  Can we open up a crack to let some light in and find that we, too, have changed?  We are stronger, more resilient, more capable of enduring any wrongs, any storm clouds that may threaten. We can choose to trust again – and trust ourselves – that we will not shrivel or turn to rust and dust.  We can swirl in an eddy of joy, that centrifugal force of joyous living that throws off the nay-sayers, because we have dared to trust again.


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