The ocean usually greets me with answers and tendrils of comfort, but this time she asked me questions. “Can you live in wild elegance, alive and present?” she whispered. “Can you flow with the tides, knowing that low tides are just as powerful as high tides?” she continued. I was ready to confidently yell YES as I danced in the waves when she asked me the final question. “Are you willing to give up the security of your false beliefs and empty dreams so you can embrace the life you say you crave?” This one stopped me cold.
“What false beliefs and empty dreams?” I whispered. But in my heart I knew, we all know. We hang on to our visions of how the world should work, what we want to happen, all with a false sense of control. We stand gazing longingly at closed doors, willing them to open, rather than turning around and looking at the myriad of options around us. I stopped dancing but kept walking reflecting on the faded images that I at times have wrapped my life around. Like dusty and tattered dresses lying in an old chest, I pulled each one out and saw that what had once been beautiful was now strangely disconcerting, even off-putting. When I looked clearly at what I once longed for, I realized that it was only shadow and mist, a temptation from the past.
The next morning I was back in the low-tide waves, excitedly telling the ocean that I understood and was ready. “Everything is about to change” she replied. And I froze again. I felt an old fear rise up in me as I asked if these were good changes. And I swear the ocean rolled her eyes at me, a teacher wondering if the student will ever really get it. But as the water rose around my ankles, I released that last fear, a student embracing the truth. And with the high tide, the changes started to roll in.