We all have seen this place before; some of us know it really well. Something has got to give, a huge change in your life must be made, but you know that it will rip your entire existence to shreds while on its way out.
It takes you weeks, months, maybe even years to get the courage to follow through and yet, despite being within reach of sweet, sweet victory, the promise of negative reactions to your positive changes stops you.
I'm talking about changes like walking away from the toxic relationship, but knowing it will divide a family; ditching the safe-mode career to pursue a dream nobody thinks you're capable of achieving; reclaiming yourself over an addiction, but losing everything familiar in the process.
We're aware of the potential loss. It keeps us in check and stop us at the door every single day, but our souls won't be satisfied, they won't be still. They keep us dreaming about how beautiful life can be and weep for the courage we keep buried within us so that we may continue in comfort of our fear-based routine. And instead of making the hard choice to pick one or the other, we make none and opt to simply exist. When we allow ourselves to drift aimlessly upon the open sea, we inadvertently allow others to put their power into our choices:
"Nobody has the courage to make a marriage last anymore. Your generation is so selfish."
"Do you know how many people are without jobs right now? And you just want to throw yours away?"
"It's really wonderful that you're sober now, but don't come back to me for help when you fail again."
Quips like these morph our reality and are never a reflection of the awesomeness we can become. There will always be those who draw us back as we try to push forward, like the ebb and flow of the tide, and could never understand the true depths of our craving to feel the sand in between our toes as we try to stand upon our own two feet.
If the crest ever breaks, if we finally had our fill, we catch that glorious wave of freedom and become so damn focused on just making it to the shoreline that we get caught off guard by the ripples of consequence that inevitably follow.
There is an unspoken, universal rule that in order to truly rise above what wants to overcome you, you must fight to keep it together and keep claim on what you've rightfully earned; what is good, and right, and true. Nobody ever tells you that it’s not enough to be brave only once. That if you come into the shift unprepared, ‘once’ is likely the only shot that you'll ever get this round.
The ocean, she is a siren. She sings her song and beckons us back, urging us to give up and return to her murky depths. She wants to take you where she may, to make your choices on how you'll live and die. Truth be told, it's so much easier to exist that way. Yet, something happens when you make a move towards positive change. You ignite a beacon within you. It calls out to your higher self and asks it to propel you forward, to give you the courage to face the consequences that come with living a lie, righting a wrong, and reclaiming your right to live a life of your choosing.
Nobody ever warns you on how badly it will hurt when the wounds are ready to heal. That one day, when you're dancing upon the shoreline and running wild through trees, the memory of what it was like to be a cast away will inevitably rise to your surface.
Nobody prepares you for that first clean-up: the biggest and by far the worst. Nobody tells you that your beaches will require constant maintenance, and the garbage you accumulated while lost at sea will at some point all be returned back to you.
Well, I'm here to tell you now -- positive changes will always manifest negative reactions, but don't let it send you backward. Don't you dare let it! Don't seek comfort in submergence. Allow the pain to come. Those waves must hit you with such a force that they remind you to root your feet deeper into the earth. To stand tall and proud as beautifully weathered as you are.
There are so many others still lost at sea and scanning the coastline for someone just like you, praying for the courage to become all the changes that you are. Shine your light out into that ocean without prejudice, without shame, and welcome home all the others who share the same courage to try.
'shine on' / Jamie Homeister