Sometimes life sends us drifting out to sea. Like an experience I had one summer at the New Jersey shore.
I was swimming in the ocean with my friends, riding waves. I lost track of time. First one wave knocked into me. Then another. I noticed dark clouds overhead. I heard a lifeguard’s whistle, and when I looked for my friends, I couldn’t see them.
Then a larger wave loomed and, too late, I realized I couldn’t jump it. It hit me full in the face. When I looked at the shore, I was further adrift than before. Again, I heard the lifeguard whistle, like a beacon, calling me home, though I didn’t know how to get there.
I felt terrified, especially when a giant wave approached. Then, instinctively, I sank into it. As I relaxed, I remembered that the wave was stronger than I was. So I didn’t fight it. For at least a minute I tumbled around, and my senses heightened. I saw green, grey swirls. I tasted fishy, salty water which warmed my skin. I heard the surf roaring in my ears.
When I surfaced again, I was nearer to the shoreline than if I’d attempted to swim there myself. I rode two more waves and walked out of the ocean.
Sometimes our lives get choppy and we find ourselves in dangerous waters. We try to leap waves of conflicts, emotions, or stresses which appear insurmountable. We don’t have enough money to pay our bills. An illness isn’t healing. We struggle in recovery from an addiction, abuse or trauma. We’re seeking work, or the work we have to do is uninspiring and unfulfilling. Our closest relationship may be crumbling or a loved one has died. When we follow the news or social media, we either want to pull the covers over our heads and stay home forever, or we want to take on the entire world, so we can “right” every “wrong.”
Yet, instead of trying to overcome a giant wave, we can choose to let it roll by:
- Sitting an extra hour in prayer and meditation, and breathing deeply.
- Cooking our favorite meal, reading our favorite scripture, chanting our favorite song, and/or watching our favorite comedy.
- Coloring, drawing or painting.
- Completing a jigsaw puzzle.
- Walking at a beach, garden, lakefront or park or doing other exercise.
- Luxuriating in a warm bubble bath or hot tub.
- Getting a facial, massage, acupuncture or Reiki.
Remember: When we choose to let life roll for a while, we actually return to our true selves and rediscover what we value most. We also invariably find that life is calmer, not necessarily because the situation has changed, but because we have.
© 2017 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.