When we're feeling down, stressed, or anxious, the tendency for many of us is to isolate, to retreat into our shells, for fear of being rejected, condemned, or misunderstood... If only we could remember to reach out to a friend or family member, we would quickly realize that we are not alone, that we are never alone. Then would we remember that we are all connected through our common experience of being human, and that all of us at some point feel insecure, depressed, anxious, lonely, angry, frustrated, or stressed. And rather than judge and condemn ourselves for feeling a particular way, perhaps we can be a friend to ourselves, and treat ourselves with the kind, loving, compassion, and respect that we would treat a loved one in need of some tlc! So, reach out to a loved one, or open yourself to an honest encounter with someone new and expand your web of connection and be reminded of your humanness! Sometimes all we need to brighten our horizons and lift our spirits is connection with another human being, paired with a bit of honest and true dialogue.
I watch my mother carry my daughter down to the shoreline to take a walk, her motherly intuition must have told her of my unconscious need for time and space, or perhaps she knows me well enough to know that I am sad. I lay down on the warm sandy earth, and realize just how much I have needed to feel anchored. I no longer have to smile, and I let my jaw muscles relax and I am surprised how much tension I have been harboring in my face. I relax my abdominal muscles as well, and lay my hands by my side, palms facing up. I allow myself to drink in the salty sea air, and relish in the warmth of the sun on my skin. I listen to the rhythmic beating of the waves crashing on the shore, and suddenly I am overtaken by tears of sadness, I cover my face with my daughter's bathing suit and allow the sadness that comes in waves to move through me. I cry because I have chosen to let go of trying to live up to anyone else's expectations of me, I have chosen me first, and I have chosen to reclaim my life as my own. I cry because I have been wounded, I cry because I have finally drawn a line in the sand. I notice the waves of sadness roll through me, and I notice the stillness in between. I look to my left and a sea gull watches the surf, he flies away and I feel the wind beneath his wings. I close my eyes and I imagine my spirit leaving my body and flying out over the water, diving in and out of the ocean, soaring through the air, as free as a bird, I spiral upward toward the sky like a twirling ballerina as I remember the words of my friend- let go, and I do. Waves of sadness roll through me once more as I picture my daughter running, growing up fast. In the far distance I see her flying as free as a bird, and suddenly I feel the pain of inevitable loss that will come with her growing up and leaving the nest, and yet joy and pride in watching her soar. I settle back into my body and realize the sadness has moved through me for now, and I feel lighter, and a smile comes to my lips as I see my mother and daughter approaching, I am renewed.