Recently I was on a flight that felt like a roller coaster with the wind jostling and jerking the plane to the right and to the left. After a while, we did even out and the flight was typical, but in those few moments, I began to think about how to overcome the turbulence we were experiencing.
I know I have mentioned this before, but a few years ago, I took a few flying lessons to see if I was cut out to pilot my own plane to my speaking events, and in my private flight lessons I learned pretty quickly that the best way to take off on a short runway was to rev up my engine, drop the flaps and push the plane into the wind, because that force aids the lift of the aircraft on the runway.
I learned in flying, that the best way through is up, and in thinking about that on my flight, I began to think about this as a metaphor for life, because, as I have seen in my own life many times, the best way through is up, using all I have to push against the unseen force that in that moment seems with all its strength to push me down. And when you fight back with the knowledge that to get through you have to push up, using that thought will allow you to lift above the clouds or circumstances of life.
For many it would seem that just pushing through at the place where you are would be good enough, and for most of us, since our nature is one to fight, it would make sense to throw a punch or two and get through on our own strength. But it doesn’t work that way, in fact, if we did take on the fight, we wouldn’t be able to sustain for the duration due to the gale force and constant wind resistance that would be pushing against us. Oh, we might be able to find an opening of calm air for a moment, but for the duration, we’d wear ourselves out doing so due to the aerodynamics of wind power.
In life sometimes, friend, you have to give up and give in and let the wind lift your sails so you can get safely through the storm, because if you don’t use the wind to your advantage (allowing it to be your guide), you very well may just crash into the ground, and that is not a very good idea if you plan to stay on earth awhile.
Going from the sky to the sea, recently I heard a speaker tell a story about sitting on a rock overlooking the waves of the ocean off one of the islands of Hawaii. As she was sitting there watching the waves roll in and out, suddenly, without warning, a giant wave came over the rock where she was sitting and picked her up and dragged her into the ocean. In her panic and fear she began to fight to get to the surface for air. Being disoriented and scared, she said all that she could think about was that she was going to be one of the statistics that the brochure they gave her at the airport said would happen (if one wasn’t careful about the waves on this certain island). In a moment of clarity, she began to grasp the situation and realized that the only way to save herself was to let go and go with the flow of the current until she could find a place to grab onto a rock or sand bar. She tells the story much better than I just did, but the thought is the same—when we fight against a force that is stronger than ourselves, we need to consider the options to make sure we can find our way to safety. Friend, you can use the wind or the current and let the force of nature lift you to safety or you can fight the system till your strength is gone, and then you’ll end up in a damaged place.
I want to talk with you today about giving up on the number one issue in life that I see holding many people down—fighting, in a sense, against an unseen force that is pulling them down instead of allowing life’s pressure to lift them up.
Sometimes you have to give up and give in, and let the wind lift your sails so you can get through safely.
And the most important issue that I would encourage you to give up on is anger…towards yourself and those who have done you wrong. Yes, anger.
Anger is the one emotion that will do such great damage to your heart and mind and soul. I meet people all the time who have an underlying stream of anger that they hold on to, and it is so obvious to me that it is doing damage to them; I am always surprised that they cannot see it.
Oh, they think they are hiding it from others, but within a few hours of conversation, without a doubt, it bubbles out. You know the type—you may be one of them. These are people who keep a mental running list of every unkind word or deed or action or slight others have done to them, and what I see is that they tell themselves (and others) that it doesn’t really bother them and it doesn’t mean a thing, yet with precision they can name the time, date and place a perceived wrong was done to them and how it affected them. I’m always curious, if it doesn’t mean anything, then why are they still keeping a list?
Friends, I can’t stress this enough—anger is a cancer to your soul. It becomes a daily unseen fight in your life that will wear down your physical body, mental ability and, frankly, spiritual life to a worn-out thread of who you once were.
Anger is a deceptive killer that feeds on the joy you could have if you would only forgive and forget the wrongs done to you. I have no doubt that others have done harm to you, but you (by hanging on and not letting it go and forgiving that person, whether they deserve it or not), yes—you—by constantly churning up the heat of every hurt, you are warping your soul, and over time this will take the best of you and burn your once bright future to an ash heap that will leave nothing but the smell of fiery destruction.
Friends, anger is not a happy little campfire with its crackle of new wood and warm scent of fall. No, anger is a forest fire that is devastating and leaves nothing in its path but the caustic smell of charred wood that is black and dead.
If you do not push against the wind of anger to lift you above the flame, you are wasting the best years of your life with nothing to show for it but hurt and destruction that will manifest itself in your life at some point.
Anger—current or unresolved—is the one emotion that will take a toll on your faster than any other that I have seen.
For you to live your best life ever, please consider letting go of the slights, comments, hurtful words and angry exchanges of your past; let the pressure of the situation pushing against you lift you up onto a higher plane where you can sail among the clouds. I’m here to tell you it is better up there: the view is amazing, and the clarity of the skyline will show you just how small the issue that seems so big really is in the scheme of life.
Stop letting the pressure of this world push you down to the level of those you are hurt by. Ah, friend, this is the year to adjust your mindset and re-direct your energy to the positive side of life. Only YOU can do this; no one else.
You have a choice today. You can let go and let God (as they say) handle the outcome, and you can let go and let the force of nature lift you up OR you can cling to the sinking rock that is pulling you down to the bottom by the actions of others who have now chosen your future. Choose wisely, friend, because your future may be depending on the outcome of your anger. Please hear me, and push against the wind and let it take you above the clouds of life.