I am sure I have at least one other piece I have written along these lines, but I thought I would put one more up. Mostly because talking about this kind of thing allows me a certain level of catharsis that I do not normally have.
It is easy to let go of things. I mean, there may be an emotional attachment to a thing, like a comb. mirror or a book. But that attachment is not reciprocated. There is no returned need or want from that particular thing.
It cannot defend it’s perceived need for you since it is, as far as we know, not sentient or conscious in any way. Other than any invented emotions that we might assign it through our human need to anthropomorphize things, it has no self awareness.
People, on the other hand, are different. In many cases, we come to points in our lives where we sit back and have to think about some of the people in our lives and have to think about what role they play in who we are and where we are going. Then we have to decide if, on our sea of life, they are anchors, sails or rudders. I know that may sound like a strange analogy, but I heard it once and it applies well to the people in our lives. Let me explain.
On a sailing ship, the sails were the key to movement. They were, and are still, crucial to the forward movement of the vessel. They capture he energy of the wind and propel the vessel forward. The more sails, within reason, the more force and propulsion the vessel has.
People in our lives that act as sails for us are people from whom we draw inspiration and drive. People who, through their actions or will of personality, give us the drive to succeed. People that have that unique ability to guide us without us knowing that we are being guided. People that provide momentum in our lives to move forward, not letting us let ourselves down.
They are important because they are the educators, the mentors and the family that believe in us when we have problems believing in ourselves, and we all have those moments.
Rudders, like sails, can guide your vessel, but are not used for the forward propulsion of it. They are there for the purpose of steering and pointing your ship in the direction that it needs to move.
If you know anything about sailing ships, you may be saying, “But sails can guide the ship too, they also provide steering!” And that is true, they do. But think about the people in your lives. While there are many people you can probably think of that guide and propel you there are also those that are good at steering you in the right direction, but really not doing much beyond that.
This is not to criticize them, pushing you to succeed may not be what they are good at, but offering advice or showing you that you are heading down the wrong path may be something that they are good at, which makes those people no less important than the people that we see as the sails in our lives.
These are people that can act as the occasional voice of reason when we are about to make a bad decision or set out on an unsafe path. Someone that might say, “Are you sure you want to invest everything you have in Pickle futures?”
Anchors are obvious. They are the part of the ship that keeps it where it is, but while and anchor is import as a literal part of a ship, as a vessel. For a person or people, whose nature needs them to keep moving emotionally, spiritually or socially, an anchor is rarely a good thing.
These anchors are the unfortunate people, and things, in our lives and many times the people that are the hardest to let go. Often they are people we care about the most, like family or friends. People that, for one reason or another, keep pulling you back.
Unreliable people that make promises that they continuously break, that say they will be there for you, but then when you look for them, they are nowhere to be found. People that show up when things are good, but disappear with things are rough.
Needy people, people that cannot crawl out of their own issues or darkness, who live for their own pain or failing. These people are our anchors and will keep us from our own personal successes.
When you run into these people or identify them in your lives, you should address them, understand them and then, if they are unable to move on and allow you to weigh them in, you need to let them go. Cast them off.
The nautical term for this is “Cut and Run”. But if you do this, understand that the person may have their own personal woes or issues. Do not abandon them, but make sure that you do not let their weight, weigh you down and prevent your momentum.
It is a hard thing to do, it can be emotionally wrenching. Something about the idea of releasing them feels like abandoning them, and to some degree, it is. But the choice is to hang on and let them pull you down, or let them go so that you can thrive and, in doing so, hope that they too will succeed.
But remember that, using the same analogy above, maybe you are THEIR Sail or Rudder… so do not turn from them completely. Be there for them, when they are ready, they will let you know and then you can be there for them.
As always. Thanks for reading.