Last week was hard. I’ve been dealing with some personal turmoil that I finally opened up about in therapy. I peeled back layers that I didn’t even know were there. It hurt. I felt exposed, raw and even a little depressed. I had a breakthrough in therapy, which is great, but it’s also emotionally draining. For a good two days, I felt emotionally hungover. Life felt very heavy, that’s the best I can explain it.
Then, we went to the beach.
Our 5 day beach vacation could not have come at a more perfect time. We drove 7.5 hours to Panama City to spend the Labor Day weekend with each other and a couple of our best friends. It just happened to be the same weekend that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hermine (why couldn’t it have been Hermoine???) made landfall.
For some, this may deter their plans or put a dark cloud over there trip. Not me. I LOVE storms, BIG storms. I especially love tropical storms. I looked forward to watching the dark clouds roll in over the flat horizon, In fact, I longed for it. It seemed an especially appropriate way to cap off my week. What I didn’t realize is how much I would learn and heal from my weekend getaway to a hurricane destination.
Early Thursday morning, Luna woke up curled into my side. She, unlike her Mother, can go from a deep sleep to full-on party animal in 2 seconds flat. So, after a half-hour of her jumping on my head, I finally gave in and walked the two of us down to the beach for some early morning pre-storm beach time. Neither Husband nor Hurricane Hermine had arrived, and I figured this was a good time for the two of us to bond before they arrived and everyone else woke up.
By 7am the waves were already 6 feet tall. The tide was higher than I’d ever seen it and the wind was blowing so hard you could hear the double red flags flapping over the sound of the waves crashing. A storm was imminent.
Surprisingly, the wind changed and we were only hit by the outskirts of the storm and mostly at night time…which was perfect for watching lightning from the deck for hours. However, as I watched the storms come and go, the tides rise and fall, the waves crest and crash and even summer begin to fade to fall, I saw a direct parallel to life and to healing.
See, the ocean is like life. We have our ups and down, we rise, we fall, we grow, we crash and we change. Storms come, and we ride them out. The trick is to be prepared for the storm and armed with the right tools.
We need to rest because the storms will ware us down. We need good friends to listen and shelter us from the storm destruction. We need the right gear and protection to weather out the storm without damage. Protection like, a positive mind, breathing exercises, the knowledge of knowing “this too shall pass” and maybe even some good meds. We need teachers to show us how to stay safe during storms. Some teachers are friends, pastors, doctors, therapist or actual teachers. They give us the tools we need.
Then, the storm will pass. The sun will rise. The seasons will change. And we remain. The waves have died down. The tide has lowered and while we may appear a little weathered, we are stronger. We may feel weak and tired as the storm begins to pass, but once we heal, there are new strengths we never knew possible.
I have always felt the healing powers of the beach. The salt water seems to cure all ailments. However, this is the first time, I witnessed the ebbs and flows of life. I survived. I stood tall, I allowed the storm to come, but I did not allow it to destroy me. I was safe within the walls of my loved ones. I used my tools of honesty, vulnerability and admitted that I needed help. I let the storm come and go and am now more prepared to handle the next storm. See, that’ the thing about life. The storms keep coming. We have beautiful days in the sun where we feel all warm and cozy and loved, but the weather always changes.
That’s okay. We are strong. We must allow the storms to teach us. Most importantly,we must remember that this storm will pass, the sun will rise again and so will we.
To all the sunny days, my rays of light and healers… thank you.