This Great Ship Called Life

By on November 17, 2011

By Janice Hope –

“When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D

Life is like a journey on a huge ship in an endless sea. At least it has seemed that way to me.

Personally I have experienced the turbulence of stormy times. Often I was certain that I was lost without a compass. There seemed to be no one or nothing that could point me in the right direction so that I could find a safe harbor.

At other times it felt as if the ship of life was in the middle of an ocean with no power—STUCK–with nowhere to go and nothing much to do.

Just as I was ready to give up on hope, along would come a strong breeze in the form of a push or a word by a friend, a fresh evaluation of the situation or a dream, and somehow it was possible to start on my way headed to my next destination.

I was urged to accept what is and let go of what is no longer needed. But to “never give up” the dreams for something better.

Great ships, like life, like us as humans, are built for risk taking and for movement forward. They are built for rough seas, and have the ability to stand steadfast even with heavy loads to carry, as we are.

The great ships are tested by time and circumstance. But they are tested only when they risk leaving that safe harbor. It is on the journey that they find adventure, escape, hopes, and dreams. It is only on the journey that the ships can fulfill their purpose—and we can fulfill ours.

To me the trick in life is to have both the journey and the rest that the safe harbor provides—to refuel and renew.

But what of the water they sail on? Do the seas have a story of their own?

One of my favorite stories is of the two seas in Israel. One of the seas has not a single fish, no birds, and no vegetation. It gets its water from the Jordan River. It is known as the Dead Sea.

The other sea is the Sea of Galilee, where the fish flourish, the birds fly freely and this sea is a place of beauty and recreation for many. It also gets it water from the Jordan River.

What is the difference? The Dead Sea gets the water but does not give its water back. It keeps it for itself, and therefore has no life. The Sea of Galilee gets its water from the Jordan River. It does give it back and in that giving back creates the movement and flow of life.

So whether on the sea or on the ship there is way for life to be more “alive.” It is in the flow of giving and getting, risk and rest. This is where hope lives too.

 

Janice Hope is making good on a promise she made long ago to make her life count (by helping others). Now she’s making a difference by sharing what she and others have learned about that mysterious, creative force that makes our lives filled with possibilities. You’ll find inspiring stories, reflections and more at Janice’s blog: http://www.hopeonhope.com/

Janice Hope

About Janice Hope

Janice Hope is making good on a promise she made long ago to make her life count (by helping others). Now she's making a difference by sharing what she and others have learned about that mysterious, creative force that makes our lives filled with possibilities. You'll find inspiring stories, reflections and more at Janice's blog: www.hopeonhope.com.

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This Great Ship Called Life