Waves ripple on at their own timelines. Gentle curls followed by the thundering crash of the deeper, heavier breakers. The sea embraces them all. Quiet, at moments, but I know that time is special. Awaiting the next rumbles. The sounds of the ocean keep me present. It can’t be calm forever, that’s what lakes are for.
We’ve all heard it before. Life with its ups and downs. Just when you feel you’ve got it all figured out, something comes along that has you questioning everything. How can I possibly feel sadness when my life feels so sweet? All my dreams coming true right before my eyes yet tears still blur my vision. Who am I to struggle when people would die to live my life? Guilt creeps in. As if it’s my obligation to not let in unfortunate feelings. The glory I am offered everyday mustn’t go to waste.
That’s the thing about life. Sure we might feel as though we’re doing everything right. As if happiness is the simple outcome to a clear cut equation. But when those downs come knocking, even at the door to my dream beach bungalow, it can feel like the whole world is crashing down on me. Gasping to get out from the wave that is pulling me under. How did I end up treading water again?
I remind myself of my strength. I can’t drown, I’m too good of a swimmer. I have confidence in my ability to reach the surface and what greets me when I do. How good that first breath is once I break through. Refreshed by the realization that I made it. Heart beating fast. I look around with peace in my eyes. That special moment of silence. Excitement. My world feels like mine again.
Moving forward I find new focus on my morals. My purpose, what difference I wish to make, how I want to feel and steps towards making that happen. I start with what I admire about the people I love most.
My parents have this ability to always put others first. To make the lives of the people around them, and those they don’t even know, as easy as possible. No hesitation of the sacrifices that may mean for themselves. “We will make do whatever it is.” But they not only make do, they make the best of whatever situation. Whether it’s finding humor from the stress or planning something to look forward to that’s more fitting to the circumstance. Hosting get togethers, traveling far distances, changing plans they were excited about to better accommodate someone else. Finding joy in the simple fact that others will be happier.
A lot of the time I feel conflicted with the idea of “faking it.” I am a very straight-forward person and forcing myself to do anything I don’t enjoy seems unnecessary. But, it is necessary. What I admire from my parents is the maturity and will they have to be adults. To force a smile in order to make someone else’s genuine. I think they even find a way to rework their truth, because making other people happy is what brings them the most joy. They truly support others, by showing up and by understanding what is important. The most successful plan is one that works for everyone.
So what pulls me out of my downs, the buoy to my stormy sea? Focus on helping others. Taking the anxiety away from my worries and my mind and letting myself be distracted by one simple goal. Make someone’s day at the grocery store. Find someone who could use some help, whether it be an elderly person carrying groceries to their car or someone who looks lost. My anxiety freezes when I share my warmth with others.
The response to my blog has been incredible. The pure drive to my motivation is the impact I’m able to create just by sharing my story. I think that is why writing is also so effectively therapeutic to me. Releasing my stress into words that will hopefully help others. The best part of life, in my opinion, is that we are never stuck. We always have the opportunity to self-motivate and refocus on the things we believe matter most. When I look at what brings me down as a challenge instead of beating myself up about it, I rewrite a negative into a positive. Not a burden, but rather a chance to feel stronger. So yeah, life can get me down. But each and every time I rise up from those downs, my highs feel higher and the view becomes fuller. I choose to immerse myself in actions I can be proud of. The more I swim, the stronger I get.
Lindsay Greenberg, providing perspective on how to live a magical life.