You and Your Helmsman

A helmsman is a navigator, someone who steers a vessel. It is crucial to know your own personal helmsman. You need to know who, or more often, what is in control and steering your ship, your life and you. It is important to know who or what is at the helm guiding you and presiding over you and your decisions. It is important to determine who is at the helm. Is could be a family member, a partner or a boss.

It is also important to determine which needs are in control of your actions and your life. What is directing and driving your vessel; alcohol, drugs, food, addictions, jealousy, greed, adultery, insecurity, anger, shame, laziness, guilt, denial, repression, aggression, neglect, avoidance, passivity, grandiosity, impulsivity, rationalization, denial, anxiety or fear?

Without a helmsman your life and your ship will be out of control. You will be rudderless, tossed about by storms or drifting aimlessly. You may get caught up in a whirlpool or a rip tide. You may crash on the rocks, be shipwrecked and sink. Without a helmsman you may never reach a safe harbor. Your life’s journey will be perilous, unproductive and unfulfilling.

You need to be your own helmsman. You need to be the one at the helm of your own life. You may need to rise up, rebel, stage a mutiny and seize control and steer your ship yourself. You definitely need to take over and take command. You need to maneuver through the shoals and dangers yourself. You need to captain your own destiny. Be bold. Be determined. Be brave. There is a poem in which the helmsman lashes himself to the ship’s wheel during a ferocious storm at sea. You may need to do the same. Don’t be intimidated. Have confidence. Get on course or chart a new course. Follow your star as all mariners must do to get where you are going. Have a strong and steady hand on the tiller.

Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864,

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