What the Tide Might Bring
This guest post is from a good friend of mine. Hope you enjoy.
So very often in life, we feel as though we are stranded – trapped in a vicious circle of emotion and circumstance. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to break free. Many times, it feels like we’re locked in a cage, perhaps even a prison cell. We find ourselves wondering how and why we ended up in this situation. We often beat ourselves up mentally and emotionally – asking what could we have done different to have avoided this predicament. For many years, I have felt like I’ve been stranded like that. I often question the decisions I made regardless of whether they were the best at the time. I often wonder if I could have done one thing differently to avoid this feeling or situation. I have found a quote from one of my favorite films that has helped me through the darkest nights.
In the 2000 film CAST AWAY, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a FedEx employee who finds himself stranded on a deserted island after the oceanic crash of a FedEx plane. Chuck has lost all contact with civilization and must find a way to survive with only the clothes on his back and a few items swept ashore from the crash. During the first several days of his entrapment, Chuck questions his decisions and concludes the only way out of this hell is #suicide. He makes a rope and tests it on a large log, which snaps it. He soon follows with an emotional break-down.
Later, we find Chuck having made the best of his circumstances: learning to fish with a handmade spear, foraging coconuts for milk and food, and even preparing a shelter with consistent fire for cooking and warmth. He awakens one morning to find a piece of debris has washed up on shore. At first, he thinks nothing of it. However, when a gust of wind knocks it over, he suddenly has an epiphany and begins designing and building a raft to escape the island. After much work and several failed attempts throughout his time there, Chuck finally escapes the wake of the island and is soon rescued by a passing ocean liner.
In the last moments of the film, Chuck delivers a monologue that describes his emotions and mindset throughout his time on the island – explaining that he couldn’t even kill himself the way he wanted. He confesses that while he has escaped the island, he is still devastated by the loss of his wife (who remarried after his supposed death). However, following his incredible journey, he now knows the only thing he can do is to keep breathing and keep living. He ends the monologue with a statement that has become my mantra in times of sorrow.
I gotta keep breathing. Tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?
When we find ourselves facing these feelings of emotional turmoil and entrapment, our minds often drift to the idea that #suicide can end the pain and suffering. We feel that things have been this way for so long that there is no #hope of change or escape. The truth is that life can change for the good just as quickly as it changed for the bad. Following Chuck’s monologue, he returns to the road to deliver packages he collected from the downed plane on the island. While on his delivery run, he stops at an intersection to decide which way to go next. A beautiful woman stops by and offers her advice. Chuck quickly remembers his words and realizes that there are still blessings and surprises ahead.
I now cling to the #hope that something better will come tomorrow. The very thing that changes my circumstances may happen in the morning.
The key to overcoming the past is to focus on the future. The past cannot be changed – the future can. Keep breathing. Tomorrow, the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?