A person looks at his sailboat moored at a dock, and thinks, “Where shall I go?” He or she could easily just unfurl the sails and sail on off and allow the winds to dictate the course…or, plot a destination to a chosen port. If the sailor were to just allow the winds to dictate the direction, we would call that “rudderless”…but why then do so many of us feel it is perfectly fine in life to sail on off without a direction, not knowing where we may end up?

On the surface, life looks very mysterious…many questions without answers. When things go wrong we feel mystified…why us? Life, you could say, is the best mystery novel ever written. We all read it, trying to decide where we fit in, and where it all ends up. The less we plan the course we take, the more we allow others to determine where we are headed on the sea of life. Free Will reigns, for better or for worse. The question we all must ask ourselves is “How much do we hold of that Free Will?”

Who are we? What do we want? Where do we go? As we look out onto the future, what do we want to see? One morning we all wake up and decide, “Enough already”….we pull out a piece of paper and start jotting down thoughts and before too long the pen starts to flow freely…the thoughts fill the lines. After a few minutes we look down and see written before us our hopes, our dreams, our wishes…and at the top of the next page we write “How Do I Get There?” Slowly our fear of our inner thoughts starts to diminish, and looking at ourselves and what we want out of life doesn’t seem so scary anymore. We start a new page and start to devise an outline of where our ship will sail. A strange sensation goes up our backs…and all of a sudden excitement materializes. We ask ourselves, “Can it be this easy?” Of course not…but with each step we take of our Free Will the odds and the control begin to tilt in our favor. One drawback to all of this is that if we’re at the helm and things go wrong, the captain is always responsible. It’s very easy in life when things don’t go according to plan, to blame other people. But when you’re at the helm, those consequences, most of the time, fall on your shoulders. So I guess we can’t have it both ways….but there is a wonderful feeling to be standing at the wheel of your life, feeling the wind blow through your hair, looking to the horizon and knowing where you’re headed…the sails fully extended, with the wind as your friend, the Heavens above you, as you say to yourself, “This is who I am…this is where I’m going.”

Set sail,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

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