I live on Maui, and a couple weeks ago I went to take a swim in the ocean. The waves were very big that day, but I saw a lot of people in the water so I decided it would be okay for me to go in too. For about 20 minutes I was fine. I was out far enough to enjoy the water before it transformed into big crashing waves. Then came a huge wave that was going to crash further away from the shore than the others had been. And I was right under where it was about to crash. I didn't have time to think. I just took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and let the wave crash right on top of me and send me tumbling under water for a while. I didn't fight it. There was no other option in that moment but to surrender. If I had tried to fight that wave, I probably would've been hurt pretty badly. I'm just not strong enough to fight the ocean!
What happened next is that a few more huge waves crashed after that one. And this time, I decided to dive *under* each wave. Although I really wanted to get out of the water and be safe on land again, I knew that I would be in bigger trouble if I struggled and tried to get back to shore at that moment. So I dove *under* each wave, where I felt the stillness of the water...ahhhh...a safe haven.
So what did I learn from all of this? First, that I am grateful for LIFE! Second, I saw this experience as a metaphor for how I can move through challenges. When I'm experiencing strong emotions or life circumstances that feel overwhelming, I can do what I need to do to keep myself safe, and then surrender to them fully...ride them like a wave...accept and embrace them...relax and truly enjoy the ride for what it is. And then love myself and give myself a really big hug afterwards. :) There's a very good chance freedom is on the other side when I'm able to do that.
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