The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne

Beyond the Surface: 5 Life Lessons from the Ocean

The ocean is a mysterious, yet intriguing part of nature that continuously surprises me with the analogies it presents. I have learnt a lot from the ocean by simply sitting and watching the waves touch the shore.

To be honest, if the ocean was a person, I think it would make a pretty good role model. If we applied these lessons to our everyday living, what would a life like that look like?

lesson 1: rejection builds character.

No matter how many times it gets pushed back and rejected, without fail it returns each time. A personality filled with persistence, courage, strength and resilience that stands up for its beliefs.

I see a life where we are not scared of rejection. A life where we are constantly trying and never giving up despite the challenges and the outcome. A life in which love is limitless. Where we aim to love others like we have been loved. To love our friends unconditionally, but also love those who have hurt us; to show love toward our enemies.

lesson 2: everyone is going through something.

Perhaps the calmness of the ocean’s surface tells its own beautiful story too. On a cloudless day filled with blue skies, the water reflects the serene atmosphere. However,┬ábeneath the surface, the invisible depths create a darkness that echoes a quiet, distant and lost place, almost forgotten.

I see a life where we don’t take things for face value. Where we stop judging others for their appearance, occupation, skin colour, level of education, income and background. Where we begin accepting others for who they are and embracing our differences, rather than faulting them. A life without competition or inequity, where we are all positioned on an equal and fair playing field, lacking pedestals in which human beings are placed above other human beings.

lesson 3: your feelings do not need to be justified.

Or maybe the rough waves that angrily beat against the shore. The clouds cover the sun, the darkness arrives and the storm hits in full force. The waves climb high while the wind creates a cooler atmosphere and the ocean insists it is left alone, before it eventually calms down once again.

I see a life where we are allowed to be upset. Where our feelings are not criticised and we don’t feel like we have to act a certain way. A life where we can be open, honest and transparent. Where we can feel hurt, upset, angry and frustrated and not feel bad about it. Where we can talk about our emotions openly, but also listen to others.

A life in which those who are struggling are given a voice, rather than silenced. Where we are not shut down for having an opinion, but given the opportunity to share those perspectives. A life where we can overcome challenges together, by listening and supporting one another.

lesson 4: stop seeking validation. you are enough.

What about the way the ocean remains beautiful no matter the situation. Whether you are sitting on the sand awe-struck by its beauty or whether you are chatting away with friends or reading a book, its beauty remains.

I see a life where beauty is not defined by the amount of likes on an Instagram photo or the social media following acquired. A life in which being quietly confident is seen to be beautiful, rather than the attention received from pride and arrogance. Where this quiet confidence trumps a loud, unapologetic ego.

lesson 5: let go of what is holding you back.

The incredible vastness of the ocean and the way it stretches further than the eye can see. The horizon and the way the sky never fails to kiss the ocean. The mystery of what lies beyond. There is something about the unknown that can be rather intimidating, yet captivating all at once.

I see a life where we are excited about the future and the potential for new opportunities, instead of dwelling on the past and not rising above heartache and challenges. Where the unknown is epitomised by the ability to grow as an individual, rather than a scary hurdle we would prefer not to face.

So if the ocean was a person, would you want to be its friend? Me too.

Keep smiling. x

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