22 Aug Hold Fast & Stay True: Overcoming Life’s Storms
Simple truths are wonderful, not only for their ability to be remembered, but also for the profound wisdom they can concisely communicate when we are trying to overcome life’s storms. Their powerful ability to impact often transcends time and guides future generations. One such guiding principle is summed up in five short words: Hold Fast and Stay True. The origins of the phrase come from a scenario not many have personally experienced, but thanks to such movies as Master and Commander, we can more easily imagine them.
Many years ago, crossing the sea involved a ship and a compass. There were no weather satellites or computer models to monitor and predict weather. There were no engines to power through or guidance systems to navigate around the storms. When a ship was caught in a storm, the sailors knew that the key to their survival was to Hold Fast to something strong that could withstand the battering of the storm. The Helmsman knew that they must Stay True to the direction of the compass in an effort to not be shipwrecked. Running a ship is a team effort, and the crew knew that. The person calling out the warning of an approaching storm knew their fellow shipmates were relying upon them. In turn, they understood the duty to continue passing the word along was a responsibility, especially to those below deck who had no visual indicators of the coming storm. The warning was crucial for them.
Although the origins of Hold Fast and Stay True are far removed from daily life for those of us who are not seafarers, (or weather forecasters with poor judgment), the principle is just the sort of thing that can help us weather life’s storms. Some of these storms are not difficult to see coming, as they are the result of our neglected responsibilities, relationships, finances, etc. Others can catch us by complete surprise as we are on the receiving end of the actions of others or a personal health crisis. Either way, knowing what we can Hold Fast to and internalizing the values we must Stay True to is critical to successfully navigating our lives.
In the times pre-dating fire drills and practiced evacuations, it seems entirely possible that a new sailor may have been caught off-guard and ill-prepared for their first storm. However, I’d be willing to bet that by the time they were in the next storm, they already had an idea of what was strong enough to hold on to and what they should let go of. Though each storm had its own style, experience gave them the guiding principles to get through them. The same could be said of our individual life journeys. Though we cannot accurately predict what we may face or when we may face it, we can and should prepare with enduring principles, because. experience tells us that storms will come.
How can you develop a plan to overcome life’s storms?
- Identify what relationships you can count on to help Hold Fast to when life gets stormy. If none come to mind, it’s probably time to build and strengthen some relationships in your life. You may need them someday, and there is likely someone who would love to have your support as well.
- Get clear about the things in your life that can be let go of or simply put on hold until the storm passes. Too often we believe the lie that everything is equally important. They are not. Establish true priorities and strategize about ways to have others help with the rest.
- Calibrate your compass. What are your non-negotiable core values that make up your true north? This is only third in the list order because Stay True is the second part of our mantra in the storm. However, I would highly encourage you to pour yourself into figuring this out sooner rather that later. For many of us, it’s our faith and personal integrity. Whatever you decide it is for you, know it now. Storms have a way of revealing what’s truly important to us. Decide what will be exposed before the rain starts to fall. Then, when the storm hits, your life will have congruency and you can take it on with integrity.
The truth is, the application here is not just a personal one. As partners, families, co-workers, and humans, we are all in this together on some level. Sharing this call to Hold Fast and Stay True may just be the thing that helps someone you know overcome their storm and come through it as a survivor.
The power of simple truths is only realized when they are practiced. We can commit them to memory and share their inspiration, but we must apply them to reap the benefits.
Points to Ponder:
- Where in your life do you need to Hold Fast and Stay True?
- What are your core values that you will Stay True to in the midst of chaos?
- What can you Hold Fast to?
- Who do you know that is currently struggling to overcome life’s storms and how can you encourage them to Hold Fast and Stay True?