My hair isn't the only thing that's grown since those warm, sunny days; my soul has, too. When we think of words like awakening, enlightenment, evolution, we associate them with the warming of our souls, like the warmth of the sun on our skin. A gentle, beautiful process that flows like ocean waves on a calm, clear day. But what often appears paradisiacal on the surface hides a chaotic undertow.
Having grown up near the ocean, I'm familiar with the unpredictability of the rip current. But that doesn't mean I don't get caught by one every once in a while. The rip current is colder than the rest of the surrounding water. It's called a "rip" because it's an independent, fast-moving channel, "ripping" through the rest of the ocean. Even something as interconnected as water molecules can contain individual natures. It's the same within the sea of humanity.
People believe themselves islands, when, in fact, we are more akin to the ocean. Fear is the human equivalent of a rip current. We feel the sudden rush of cold and the mind immediately begins to freeze, forgetting the existing warmth that flows all around us. You see, the human brain is wired for fear to aid in our survival. But it can also kill us. And, our relationships.
Evolution is the process of transcending the innate duality presented by fear, allowing humans to surpass their previous limits. Yet, we can only "evolve" through experience. Experience is something we gain when we leave the insular world of home and family and venture into the wider world. Once you're no longer protected by familial connections, you're forced to rely on yourself. Sink or swim, as it were. But, not everyone remembers how....
We sometimes find ourselves surrounded by cold water without realizing that the current can carry us away. The beauty that is the sea of humanity is in our very interconnectedness, no matter what. Even if separated by a veritable ocean, we can always use the flow of cyclical tides to carry us back. You don't even have to know how to swim...just turn onto your back, and float. But when caught up in the bitterness of cold, cold fear, we become paralyzed by it. It's easy to give up in those circumstances. To forget who we are and what we are capable of. When that happens, you can drown without ever realizing that you were so close to the shore, all you had to do to save yourself was stand up.
You are always your own best life line. No one else. I wish I could tell you that the people who have rejected you, abandoned you to the pull of the undertow, will come back and acknowledge their responsibility. I was trying to imagine the other day how someone guilty of that level of betrayal might attempt to do just that. Is it even feasible??? I think it is. Because, people are always more important than any problems.
The message in a bottle is the best option. A letter. A note through electronic means. Even a text. These are the "bottles" available to 21st century man floating in the sea of humanity. Because, when you jump in the deep end with a partner but get separated by a storm at sea, you'll both be looking for each other for the rest of your lives, scanning the waves for signs of life. Until and unless, you find that bottle.
When you release your message in a bottle, you also release the gift of healing. Healing others helps you to heal as well. No matter how "okay" you believe yourself to be, the violence that erupts from an abrupt separation permanently injures you--even if you were the one who initiated it. No one is special or different when it comes to open wounds. That's why closure is important. It closes the door with kindness, respect and genuine care--which is truly what any person who has loved and cared for you deserves. Though some internet relationship gurus and religious leaders advocate "no contact," all it does it hurt the two people involved--and, they're the ones who matter most in the equation.
You may choose not to talk to a person you ended a relationship with once you both had a chance to discuss what happened and why, but to just disappear after having made a personal commitment to share your lives together? It's the very definition of psychotic behavior.
I'll always feel sadness surrounding my losses because of the sudden, and therefore tragic nature, of what happened. What took nearly a year-and-a-half to build unraveled in less than ten days. But it would not have been as sad if those losses had been properly acknowledged. The fact that I was left alone to deal with the grief is what hurt more than anything else. Still does, even years later. Not because I'm weak or "allow" another person to hurt me. Because, I'm human, regardless of the long feathery wings that drag on the ground behind me.
Today, I don't have to fight the current on my own. The experience of having to do so, however, has forced me--and my soul--to evolve in unexpected ways. I'm not the same person I was two years ago. I won't tell you I'm "better," because it's just not true. Nothing will ever be "better" again. You can't improve on Hell. It's Hell. And, after four decades, I've had a significant enough accumulation of negatives that permanent change was inevitable. But I can tell you that despite it all, I still see warm, sunny days ahead. The future forecast is bright. Not because I'm dim. Because, I believe in myself. Because...I know how to swim. In deep water. As does my equal.
An equal matches you, in speed, strength, stamina. That's the equivalent of a continuum...no beginning and no end. Because I exist, so does my equal. I can practically see him. His green eyes. Dark hair. Maybe a little gray. Perhaps he walks into a restaurant where I'm sitting and takes the booth behind mine. I notice, at some point, that he's ordered the same meal, too. So, I turn around, and that's how it starts. Ten hours later, we're in each other's arms.
I feel lucky every day. Grateful, Humbled by the perfect mechinations of the Universe. My moment will come. Even if I have to swim all the way across the ocean. And, guess what? If you learn how to swim, your moment will come, too.