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Riding the Waves

Friends, I write this now as a follow up to my first post, written now many weeks ago. At that time, I was feeling inspired. I had freedom, peace, and joy. What a trifecta of emotional recovery, right? My pink cloud was glowing and flying high. I write today to share what’s happened in the weeks that followed.

The pink cloud faded, as it always does, and became grey. Growth and change have not been linear. That’s called having a human experience, nothing new or out of the ordinary. Old habits of avoidance, procrastination, and fear again took hold. I continued my meditation practice that brought me peace, but found the effects diminishing through the day. Coming out of meditation, I would feel gratitude and excitement, then I’d settle into work and all of the old thoughts and emotions would return. Because of my fear of returning to that old way of being, I was especially sensitive to it and it would amplify those unpleasant emotions and they grew. Basically, I was in staunch resistance to any negative emotion, then was triggered by intense fear. My mind likes to operate from a very black-and-white, good/bad, right/wrong perspective. That formula doesn’t work. This need for control is pointless, it’s like trying to control the waves of the sea from their natural movements. My mind is the sea, ever-changing. I sit in a small boat atop the waves. When I’m in fear, I feel alone, overwhelmed with the power of the ocean. I notice every lurch of the boat with exaggerated awareness, amplifying it’s presence. The brain is releasing survival hormones, which trigger normal survival mechanisms like heightened awareness of problems, focusing on lack, and competition. This fosters a greater sense of separation and isolation.

I see this small, helpless figure being tossed by the stormy seas of the tumultuous mind. In the past, I would blame her for the waves. She was an inherently bad person, unlovable, and this is why the sea wasn’t calm or navigable. Her past, her brokenness, caused her to be inept and helpless. Now, I have great compassion for her. I know she is not unique. Because she exists, she has inherent worth. She is an expression of god (or whatever you may call that greater power), of the universe’s love and evolution to know itself. She is the dance, and god is the dancer. I forgive her for her actions in the past that were not loving towards herself or others. I forgive her decisions made from fear and separation. This forgiveness, now, is a shift in perception, and a miracle. I see her hands let go of desperately gripping the oars of the boat. She lays down and looks up at the vast expanse of sky. In letting go of resistance, she is able to allow everything to be exactly how it is in this moment. When she shifts from being in survival, the world opens, as does the mind and heart. She is able to connect with the present moment, and come back to herself and her body- her holy home here on earth. With connection to self, comes connection to god and peace. The mental seas then naturally calm.

This is what I have been experiencing recently. Coming home to myself again and again. This is what it means to be in relationship with myself. I have always looked to something or someone outside of myself to give me salvation from this separation of self. I am now learning what it means on a deep level to love myself, regardless of anything. I make mistakes. I fall. I feel despair. I feel self-loathing and want to escape. I try to escape using old addictive patterns. It doesn’t work. I surrender. Again. Again.

Here I am. Doing the best I can. As I always have. And I know you are, too. Do me a favor and extend the same compassion you would for a small child who falls as she is learning to walk. Smile, help her to stand, kiss her skinned knee, and encourage to take another step. This next one will be stronger.

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