“If we try to avoid a powerful wave looming above us on a beach, it will send us crashing into the sand and surf. But if we face it head-on and dive right into it, we discover only water.” – Stephen Batchelor
On my recent trip to Cape Verde, I learnt first hand that this is true. I love the sea with all of it’s mysterious possibilities, but I am also afraid of it. I am afraid of the unknown. The waves along the coastline there were so powerful, that when I tried to get through them, they knocked me down. After falling, I didn’t feel able to break through them and get to swim in the sea, for fear of needing to cross this ferocious border once again. What if, when I was in the sea, I found something unpleasant, and I wouldn’t be able to get away from it again?
This has been on my mind ever since. How I/we avoid situations that we find challenging/scary and opt for the easier approach. When we are faced with life’s ‘ferocious borders’ we are inclined to stay where the water is calm, and where we are familiar with everything around us.
I can recognise that this is how I feel when I am faced with big choices for change. It took me 12 years to leave my ex husband for a reason. It took me 8 years to leave my first job for exactly the same one. I am happy to choose not to do something, if that’s the right thing for me, but I don’t ever want that reason to be fear. My experience of life post divorce has been amazing, and I need to keep the knowledge of that proof ‘front and centre’, when I am faced with all of these new decisions.
Thinking more deeply about the wave analogy, the phrase fight or flight comes to my mind. It got me thinking about how I fight situations in my life, and attempt to keep control and order to everything around me. I like things to be a certain way, all of the time, and I fight to preserve that, hard.
I think I formed this modus operandi as a direct reaction to choosing to live in a world where I had absolutely no control for 12 years, due to my relationship with my ex husband. Neither approach will give me the balance I am looking for, so here is me pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Life is all about evolution and it’s time for me to go further and learn to be truly open. Not just say I am open. But REALLY be open, to new ideas, new alternatives, new ways of being.
This doesn’t mean I’m about to tear up the current model of Penfold and start all over again. Consider it more like fine tuning.
New things can make us uncomfortable, so the way I am going to try to evolve now, is to make sure I keep working on and being contented fully with me. So my comfort comes from the inside. That means that, whatever comes my way, I will feel that I am looking at it from a place of comfort, and will empower me to make that difficult decision.
I felt this last night. I go to a lot of gigs, and I go because I love music, I love absorbing people’s creative energy, and I love to dance. Given that I am little, as much as I love them, they can also be fairly challenging for me. I can never see and could easily get trampled on. So my reaction would be to fight; I would be there, holding my spot, fighting to hold down my perimeters, dancing (of course), but energetically, I was acting out of discomfort, defensive and angry. I jokingly called myself ‘gig-noxious’ to make light of it.
Last night though, I embraced the situation for what it was. I was at a Mobb Deep gig, and sure enough, people came and stood in my way. But do you know what? I didn’t mind. I viewed them with love. They are there to see them, just as much as me, and I vibed off their energy. I had fun. Lots of it. I didn’t see much of the performance, but I danced my heart out and I loved every minute.
We create pictures in every part of our world about how we think things/people/situations should be, and then we are disappointed when they aren’t what we expect them to be. So this is me, trying to erase some of those pictures, and trying to accept and embrace life/people/things as they truly are. And I truly believe that it’s possible to do so.
I want to exist in a way that, rather than life crashing into me and knocking me down, I can learn to dive in, and embrace the possibility of what is waiting for me there at the other side. I’m sure in most cases, I will discover that it’s still only water, but there’s a chance that the new section of water might be a little better than my current bit, or perhaps I have reached that section so I can learn about all the wonderful new properties this new patch of water holds. And if I find that the new piece of water isn’t quite right for me at this stage, I can always find my way back… or perhaps even just swim out a little further.