Having Courage On The New Ocean

by Sherry Riter in Courage,Self-Development  

cinemagraph animated ocean beach sunset

“Man cannot discover new oceans
unless he has the courage
to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Andre Gide ~

Andre Gide’s quote embodies all the emotions associated with faith, confidence, love, change, fear, courage and happiness.

Man cannot discover new oceans

In a sense, every day, every opportunity, every relationship, every obstacle and every goal are new oceans. The beginning of anything is a new ocean – vast, unknown and full of wonderful opportunities.

unless he has the courage

I have often said that I was a wimp and really believed it. At the time, the whole reason I wanted to give birth to Alyssa without drugs was to prove that I wasn’t a wimp. I don’t know why I’ve always felt that I am perceived as wimpy, but I did have that view of myself and I have been trying to prove otherwise my whole life.

So when embarking on anything new, one must have courage. What is courage? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, courage is:

The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

Ahhh…It is that unseen, but felt thing that pushes us onward and forward when we aren’t sure of what will happen next. Examples of a few times in life when we need courage to continue would include:

  • Starting a new job
  • Giving birth
  • Being a parent
  • Falling in love
  • Speaking in public
  • Overcoming serious illness
  • Starting a business
  • Publishing a book

The last line of Andre Gide’s quote sums up the reason that courage is needed.

to lose sight of the shore.

The shore. The safe haven. The constant. The dependable. The reliable. The known.

Changing our circumstances brings about an ocean of unknown which precipitates excitement, challenge and fear. Because of the fear factor, courage is needed in order to meet the challenge with excitement because sometimes the shore is not visible.

As we age, life gives us all unique experiences from which we learn or we don’t learn. Either way, the experiences and emotions associated with them affect the way we feel and react to new opportunities. We can call all the stuff “baggage,” but that gives a negative connotation and I believe that the knowledge we have gained by living is all positive. Knowledge is, after all, power.

Our past got us to the place we are now. It is what has made us who we are and helps determine where we are going, how we will get there and who we will be with on the journey. So I don’t see the past as baggage. I see the past as priceless pearls of knowledge. Just like a real pearl found inside of an oyster, every person’s past has molded them into a one of a kind gem.

Release the sadness of the past and hold onto the knowledge.

“Man cannot discover new oceans
unless he has the courage
to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Andre Gide ~

New oceans.

Have you ever sat by the ocean and listened to the crashing waves on the beach? If you’ve never had the opportunity, there is a calming yet electric power that embodies everything from the sound of the splashing waves, silkiness of the soft warm sand, and salty air to the huge stretch of the horizon. Sitting in the midst of this powerful place on our beautiful planet, I feel free, calm, tranquil and filled with peace.

I wish when I embark on a new ocean, I could feel the same emotions I feel while sitting next to the real ocean – free, calm, tranquil and filled with peace. That’s where courage comes into play. With courage, we can have those same feelings when we start something new. The secret of embodying those emotions is a belief in self. Think about it…you got yourself to this point, so surely you can and will get yourself to the next point, so you might as well have peace about the whole journey.

This is one of my new goals – embodying the feel of the ocean when immersing myself into new oceans.

While you’re surfing, let the following video of the ocean play in the background. You will find that it is not only peaceful to the soul, but invigorating to your mind and creativity. The ocean is divinely magnificent.

Where do you go to feel this type of peace?


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole May 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I’ve heard this quote before, but I really like that animated image. And waves by the beach does it for me as well. Peace. I’ve got a story for you that I think you’d like. Not one of mine, but… well you’ll see.



2 Sherry Riter May 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Thank you so much! It was an awesome read! Great imagination. 🙂


3 Philip Bond May 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Insightful read Sherry. Your thoughts are not to be missed.


4 Sherry Riter May 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thank you, Philip! {{{hugsss}}}


5 teresa1944 May 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm

You were never wimpy. I think you felt that because when you were in school, people who were smart were considered a wimp. There is your mothers input, lol.

I use faith first then I have the courage to plunge forward. I know if the Lord is with me, whatever I embark on that is good and right in my life, I will succeed. It has worked for me.

You are an amazing woman. If only you could see you through my eyes.


6 Sherry Riter May 3, 2013 at 7:44 am

Thank you, Mom, for such a nice comment. {{{{hugssss}}}}


7 Joan May 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm

One of your most poignant and insightful post. I drank in your words of wisdom and marveled at your brilliance. Now I hope that you will have the courage to take your own words to heart and lose sight of the shore. I know I will! 🙂


8 Sherry Riter May 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I have read this post at least 30 times since writing it. The words totally came from my soul and I am determined to conquer my new oceans. Thank you, Joan, for your sweet words.


9 Joan May 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm

You asked, “Where do you go to feel this type of peace?” I go to read your latest post and put off doing what I know I should be doing. It’s call procrastinating. 🙂 And then instead of doing what I should be doing I start to write a lot of comments on your post! 🙂


10 Joan May 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

It works too! You see, by writing comments on your post, I trick myself into thinking that I am actually writing. 🙂


11 Joan May 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

However, now I actually have to write an important e-mail. It should take me about three days until I get it the way I want it. Three days of toiling over one e-mail. Is it any wonder that I prefer writing comments on your blog? At least I don’t have toil for three days to write a comment! 🙂


12 Joan May 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Okay, so enough procrastinating for one day. I’m going to start writing my e-mail. Wish me luck. It is a very important e-mail. Important enough for me to toil over it for three days! 🙂


13 Joan May 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Yes, Redhead Riter, I know that you are rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, “Three days to write an e-mail? What e-mail can be so important that it would take three days to write?”

Well, wouldn’t you like to know! 😉


14 Sherry Riter May 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Why yes, I do want to know!


15 Joan May 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Should I give you a hint? 🙂


16 Sherry Riter May 3, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Yes! You can’t leave me hanging!


17 Joan May 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

On second thought, no, I am not going to give you a hint. But I’ll say this and then I’ll be done procrastinating for the day and get down to the business of writing my e-mail. I was so inspired by your post today that I am going to use Andre Gide’s quote as my new mantra! Of course, I will have to change the gender from male to female: “A woman cannot discover new oceans
unless she has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” 🙂


18 Sherry Riter May 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm

As my grandmother would say, “Well darn your hide!” for not telling me! LOL

I’m glad you enjoy the quote. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv it too!


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