Watching the Waves

by elizabethbrantley

There are moments everyday of disappointment. Moments when we catch ourselves plummeting, when we sense loss and tighten up. We brace ourselves for the fall.
I know when these happen, sometimes in the tiniest of moments for me. Someone says something. I hear something from somewhere, I spin into reaction. I try to find a grip. Sometime I grab onto things that give me a false sense if control and steadiness- blaming others, anger, eating, jumping into unplanned action. But I know these are just temporary fixes. Band aids for a wound that might need some time to heal.
But I can sense I am on the right path since I know when these moments come where I loose my footing. I can feel my breath stop. I can feel a mood brewing in my blood, uninvited. I can see my hand reach to stuff down another emotion with something to occupy my mouth. I can see my true self shrink by enlarging the issue before me.
While there are many strategies out there to help us with those moments that surely come up daily my only cure right now is to watch the waves. I set a timer to literally create some space for me, some time where I a not allowed to do anything- talk, eat, even think. I can only breathe. Deeply. Audibly, visibly with my chest rising and falling. This is the secret ocean I carry around with me. Hidden, like an ancient secret cove, these are the waves that smooth the jagged edges of anything in its way. I get the same peace in this time as I do sitting by the shore. I get the same wonder on this edge as I do standing and searching for an ending that doesn’t exist on a vast ocean. And to think, it’s always there. I can choose to always live by the sea. I just have to turn around. I just have to pause to hear it crash on the shore, rhythmically reminding me there are things that came before and things that will outlast. I just have to breathe.

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