Category Archives: believing

On Being Presented with the Same Lesson Over and Over

I’ve never surfed. The closest I have ever come to standing up, balancing on something was when I tried out my son’s skateboard. I balanced for a second and then the skateboard moved forward, leaving me behind, in the air pretty much like Wiley E. Coyote in the air after he has run off the edge of the cliff. I know what that landing feels like. I really don’t know how WEC kept it up. One fall like that was enough for me.

I’ve never surfed. I lived minutes from the Pacific Ocean in Australia, and had many friends who surfed. Why didn’t I try? I doubt if it even occurred to me.

I’ve never surfed, but I realized today that several issues appear as GIANT waves any time I admit them into my consciousness. I’ve been running from the waves. They’re BIG. I cannot hold them BACK. They will knock me DOWN. Is it time for me to see what surfing these waves would be like? Surfing is the process of riding a wave to the shore. Surfers love the waves, don’t they? Avid surfers often say the bigger the wave, the better.

I’m nowhere near the ocean right now. There’s not an ocean wave within 400 miles of here, so I can’t go try it. But maybe I can imagine what it would feel like to ride the wave, to be on top of it, to go with it toward the shore.

What do I see as I imagine this? I feel the powerful movement of the water beneath my board. The sun is out, shining as it does every single day somewhere in the world. I understand the wave is something that is exhilarating. Every wave has its crest and then gets smaller and smaller as it moves toward the shore. Surfing the waves is the opposite of standing on the shore, watching the waves come in, dreading their size, fearing their power.

Same lesson, different day. The School of Life keeps pulling this old chestnut out and presenting it to me. Apparently, I’ve yet to learn it.

Seems like the most important thing in this situation is to keep focusing on what is, rather than what has been. To say yes, and, even if it’s through tears. And to keep getting back up and back on my surfboard and trying again. Dude, I’m a gurfer (girl surfer). Yes, only in my mind, but that’s a start.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”
Jon Kabat-Zinn