Life & Ocean

Sadness… helplessness… apathy… the waves of unwanted emotions that wash over me day by day. They are my enemy, as well as my comfort. These feelings are the familiar face of mundane life. I both desire and fear change simultaneously, wondering about the greener grass around the corner and being consumed by the guilt of not appreciating where I am right now, in this very moment. If someone were to ask how to describe the pain of stillness or stagnation in one’s life, it would be hard to find the right words. The only way to describe it would be to compare it to something visually real, because emotions tear you apart deep inside your cells, your molecules… your arteries and your veins. The pain degenerates you little by little until you are literally physically suffocated and aged beyond your present years. This type of pain or illness takes time to fully show its face to the people around you. It is clever and elegant at the same time, gentle enough to consume you little by little every day, making long strides over time and making it more challenging to look straight into its gnarling eyes.

To tell a story of stagnated life is to first imagine something completely opposite of it: an ocean. Allow yourself to visualize the energy, movement, emotion, and in its truest form, a heartbeat of ocean life. It is the life form that speaks a universal language of comfort when embraced… like music, each one of us finding a different musical tone that speaks to our hearts. Its body of water represents all that is free, adaptable, and strong. Its constant movement rebels against any concept of stagnation because it loves and yearns to be free to move, to be powerful and strong.

Now allow yourself to visualize a smaller body of water… a tiny puddle gently embraced in the crevices of rocks formed by the ever-moving ocean. This is stagnation in one of its many forms — a small, humble body of water left to the mercy of external influences. No matter how beautiful it is or how gently it is embraced by the rocks, the water is susceptible to extreme weather, and potential slow death by the fiery sun. Naturally it tries to be crystal clear and beautiful, but the external influences control its depths and life form, making it more muddy and shallow over time, inviting in bacteria and other unwanted contaminants. This process has a parallel with losing one’s perspective.

As the still hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks and months, the sinking feeling of helplessness creeps in and the sense of hope becomes more difficult to control. Stagnation begins to describe life itself. The puddle believes that, if it was only given a chance to join the mighty ocean and show its true form of fluidity, life would be freer and better. Life would once again have its purpose. And such is life… teaching you to both wait and embrace the change that is given, when it’s given. Sometimes life conditions force you to wait, but unless you can avoid being consumed by apathy, and can remain alert, you miss out on the opportunities of change.

Sadness… helplessness… apathy… my enemy and my comfort, remind me that I am alive. And so I whisper to myself to take a moment to breathe and to stop running away from where I am. I encourage myself to embrace the crevices and wait until the next opportunity arises and then to jump high, hug it hard and not let go until it’s time to let go. I remind myself to be free and fluid like water, and to become both puddle and the ocean because that is the gift given to us in order to survive this intricate form of life.