Weep, Pray, Swim

20 Mar

It’s an interesting time when one feels her life, as she knows it, has disintegrated. When we lose love or experience a sense of betrayal, we can be rattled at our core. And even when love simply changes or runs its course, and there is no discord, the aftermath can be more trying than any other experience. So what then do we do to rebuild our sense of self and direction?

Author Elizabeth Gilbert, coined the phrase, “Eat, Pray, Love,” in her spiritual memoir. What better thing to do when suffering than to nourish oneself physically, spiritually, and relationally? Yet surrounded by water recently, I thought, why not “weep, pray, swim,” as a prescription for healing? Tears bear witness to our pain, washing the heart clean of its fears, anger, and disillusionment. Tears usher in peace, compassion, and love, moving in like the tides upon the shore. Living Water is God Herself, reaching out to touch us on the earthly plane, reminding us that She is near. And swimming moves the feelings and energetic debris, lodged in from the day, week, months, and years. The salt water purifies us of toxins and transforms us. As we emerge from the sea, bathed in the Spirit, we experience new life. We also begin to experience forgiveness of ourselves and others.

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The other day, I looked around me and saw that life was more than good. Life is rainbows and people and beauty. Life is blessings and new opportunities, as much as it is also pain and chaos. Life is surprises and joy and the unexpected. And we ourselves are more than beautiful. We are glorious even in our terrible humanity.

When Phoenix rises from her ashes, she wears a fire red bikini and laughs when the waves nip at her feet. The sand reminds us that like the sea glass lying on the beach, time and hardship do not wear us down. They shape and beautify us.

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Sometimes, we have to just get into the water and paddle out, into our lives. Only then, do we see from the proper vantage point.

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