Swimming in cerulean crystal waves, I was recently reminded of my freedom. The saltwater quieted my mind and shifted the rigid metronome of my sometimes shallow breath.
I’ve been getting calmer and clearer.
I’ve been getting more spacious.
For the past two years, I have been consciously working with my fear patterns. I relate to them like muscles I’ve become accustomed to contracting. It takes the attention of both my body and my mind to loosen instead of seize up. It takes the subtle mediation of my heart, who must stand guard as a loving witness while I stumble through the tedious construction of a new internal architecture.
I am building a home inside where I can rest, all the time, no matter what.
In this process, I am learning to be more honest with myself about the expectations I have for others and the countless micro-judgments I pass daily. If I follow them like breadcrumbs, I believe they’ll lead me to my deepest wound — to the place where I am still unforgiving towards my most tender human tendencies. To the place where I expect myself to be perfect.
This is where I want to unleash love like a hungry wolf. This is the place I want love to devour.
As I circled round the ocean’s patient rhythm, I prayed to her sacred example — to the rise and fall of everything, to the leaving and returning, to the pearl crest of promise and the empty radiance of surrender.
I felt my body unravel in her current.
I rose up for air and waved gleefully to the shiny, golden figure of my dark-haired husband, grinning on the sand.
I recently got married, and the illumined waters I’m communing with make up Kauai’s wild coastline. I’m on my honeymoon with my husband, for whom bouts of anxiety are not commonplace. This isn’t to say he doesn’t struggle with the vulnerability of being human, just that struggle looks different on him. It certainly looks less anxious.
It’s one of the great teachings he’s been offering me by example — his genuine ability to let things go, in both his body and his heart.
In the ocean I feel the deep hush-hum of a liquid universe — a world based on letting go. The principle of water says, what is soft is also strong.
At our wedding ceremony, I vowed to learn to land in my heart, even when all my tiny selves are crying and stomping and pouting. I vowed to break through again and again — through the stuck places and the limiting beliefs, into the magic and infinitude of the ultimate reality.
I vowed to seek mystic mischief by my husband’s side, the kind that liberates love and bathes all beings in deep peace, because I believe we need this type of mayhem. I believe it will take a rowdy courage and an inexhaustible playfulness to reacquaint the heart of humanity with the tides of surrender.
I believe it is through our relationships that we learn to love the world. I believe that all the cliches are true, that the Beatles really got it — that All You Need Is Love.
Love is the most potent medicine, the simplest mystery, the most awe-inspiring acceptance, the endless path. Love cannot be argued with divisive thought patterns. Love doesn’t work in limitations. Love isn’t all or nothing.
Love is all. Always. All ways.
The human mind shudders at the vastness of this. It gasps, terrified.
Then what am I working so hard at? It cries. What am I trying to be good for?
If love is unconditional, if it is a cosmic intelligence that runs through the universe and does not take sides, if it wants everyone’s ultimate well-being and chooses no enemy, then what is our identity? If there are no bad guys, then how can we be the good guys? If we are not the good guys, then who are we? If being good isn’t even the point, if the point is so much deeper than that, if the only way out is in, if our identity is not based upon division, if it is not bolstered by competition, if it is not fortified by comparison, then what is it?
I emerge from the waves and join my husband on our blanket. He vowed to love my body, mind and heart as he loves his own.
I breathe long and slow and deep.
I rest my head on his chest.
The water makes the music of hushes and purrs. I bring my attention to my heart and ask love to braid my wholeness into being. I ask love to be my name, my sound, my vow. I ask love to teach me until there are no more words.
Until there is only fullness and emptiness — the same secret. Until there is only water, retreating and returning.