Finding Direction From A Children’s Song

brown row boat on body of water painting

I have always desired to teach my children, and grandchildren, the best ways to navigate through life.

Being more seasoned and experienced, I want to do whatever I can to prepare them for the storms that will inevitably happen as they mature, become independent, and face the future on their own.

Years ago, I learned that sometimes the most profound advice can be found in the simplest of places.  In this case, the words of a familiar children’s song provide exactly the perfect direction:

“Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

How many times have you sung this song without really thinking about how to embrace it’s instruction?  Let me explain!

”Row, row, row”…….You must always be actively moving forward in your life.  It is only you who can propel yourself.  Put one foot in front of the other and move…even when you don’t want to.  Even when you think that you can’t.  If you don’t move, you get stuck!

Your boat”…….You can only row your OWN boat.  You cannot row anyone else’s boat.  Do not get confused and try to interfere with how someone else is rowing their boat.  The storm will never end if you try to control anyone other than yourself.  Be the captain of your own ship.

“Gently”…….You must move gently through life.  If you don’t, you will leave a large wake behind you that others will have to navigate.  That wake can cause them to struggle and possibly even drown.  Be aware of your wake and slow it down.  Always be ready with an apology and a helping hand if you have left a wake behind you.

“Down the stream”…….Trying to row upstream is much more difficult, and sometimes impossible.  Don’t fight the current.  Try to flow with life, living in the moment.  Be truly present.  You can’t go back to yesterday, and tomorrow is not here yet.  Do what you can today, because it is all that you have.

“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily”……….Look at life through the eyes of joy.  Have fun.  Take a breath.  Notice the beauty around you.  Laugh at yourself.  Smell the rain.  Be grateful for the blessings you already have.  Choose happiness!  Then choose it again!  It just feels good, and it is contagious!

“Life is but a dream”…….It will be over before we know it.  We only have one chance to get it right.  Don’t wait for things to be perfect, or you will be waiting forever.  Be sure that your actions and intentions always come from a place of love-it will never steer you wrong.  If you are not coming from a place of love, then it is time for a course correction.

The bad thing about times of chaos and storms, is that they will come.  The good thing, is that they will not last forever.  It is about how we navigate through them that makes all of the difference.

“And, once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you managed to survive.  You won’t even be sure if the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.  That’s what the storm is all about.”

Haruki Murakami

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