Posts Tagged ‘making a better life’

This is a post I have written in 2013, it is interesting to see how it feels like it was someone else’s lifetime. I was at the bottom of the well. It was the first time in years that my eyes looked up, it was – after years of self loathing, depression, frustration, lack of self love and respect – when I finally saw the light. It humbles me to read this and see how far this life had brought me. We are the only ones who knows how much the shoes we wear can hurt along the way.
My deepest desire is as I re-read this post, it gives you hope and courage to continue  whatever magical path you are travelling now. Even if right now it does not feel so magical.
Once upon a time, I used to go to a place that was my utmost favorite. It was ‘The Place’ I would go to recharge, think, talk quietly with myself, listen and, because it was not what I wanted to hear, usually ignore.

It has been 3 years since I last visited, not because of the place, but for fear of the the memories that would come back. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it.

They were memories of time spend with someone who was no longer. Memories of empty promises made by someone who was believed to be part of my life for the long haul.

Anyhow, all that it is now gone and, amazingly enough, it seems unimportant in the big scheme of things that came to pass. Unfortunately, for a very long while, I mistakenly connected the place to the person.

Well, much water has passed under that bridge and, even tough I have not yet published everything I have written during that time, I have decided to publish this.

Other posts have been published about the time I was still free-falling to the cold dark bottom, broken badly, I thought then, I was beyond repair, this one reminds me that I am just starting. It has been a long, yet amazing 3 years journey in the process of rebuilding myself from inside out.

When I left my home this morning I had no plans whatsoever to go there. I got into the car with the sole intention of going for a hike and take some pictures. There was no set destination as I drove out of my driveway, just a desire to enjoy a beautiful Fall day.

After going to a couple of places, taking some photos, it took me by surprise as I realized that I was there, right at the place I used to love so much. Oh my, I felt the shiver of fear inside me…it was like so many years ago.

The parking lot was right in front of me, inviting me in, this time, like many times before for a therapy relaxing treat…and so, I decided to enter, not yet knowing that this time I was going for a the beginning of a healing experience.

As I parked the car I realized the time had finally arrived and it was up to me to overcome the mental “forbidden place” I had created and go for a walk along the shore.

It just took a meager couple of  minutes to realize that I, and no one else, have created this taboo about this place. The joy I used to feel was still there.

As I took the first steps and saw the monarch butterflies playing under the sun, I could smell the brine of the ocean bringing back  memories of why this place was chosen as my refuge. It reminded me that it was my favorite place, before and in spite of any other  memories. It was time to remove the tainted association from it and start enjoying it again.

I walked the couple of miles, all the way to the inlet where I used to take a break, sit and picnic. As I walked along the path it took me completely by surprise to see the transformation it had taken place here.

The path. that used to be narrow – with a rocky beach in one side and 8+ feet high dunes on the other side –  was much different now. The dunes were gone ~ swept away by Hurricane Irene last year ~  and, like a strange co-relation, I saw my favorite place, much like the ‘ME’ walking there today, a completely transformed landscape.

The scenery had become this flat open area. I could now see far into the horizon. The little and peaceful river branch that used to be hidden by the tall dunes, was widely exposed, easy to see from the ocean side. The narrow path was now broad and open, covered with soft white sand.

As I walk down this so familiar path, this new environment made me think about the person I’ve become in the last years. About the storm that changed my own outlook.

This place and I were completely and profoundly changed. Our old appearance had been drastically changed by something outside ourselves, yet it changed us to the core. Yes, the important things were still there: the sand-my beliefs; the river-my dreams; the ocean-my soul, yet we were forever transformed.

The open and clear horizon, even though it seem serene and peaceful now, still holds fresh signs of the path taken by the storm. I could clearly see what areas were affected by it. What happened and how it molded and reshaped the old land into this new scenery was noticeable. The changes occurred have left deep scars, but only if one knew the place before one could be able to see the changes that had happened.

My little inlet and I, had been completely redesigned, from what looked set and secure, to a brand new, creatively beautiful and simple wide open world.

While the storm destroyed many things on its way, it also created many new things that are filled with beauty, all the new life I saw at the time. It was different from the beauty from before, but somehow it is more harmonious and peaceful.

The tall dunes used to make aware that an unexpected surprise could be lurking behind them. They made impossible to see the little paths hidden behind them. Then, as I walked down the old and familiar path, I could just enjoy the views, the whole open wide path  right in front of me. There was no more risk or fear of the unknown, I could see far and wide into the distant horizon.

Changes were visible, scars were all around. The piping plovers were gone, their nest and sheltered area completely destroyed. The marsh between the inlet and the ocean washed away. The soft little beach area where I used to swim, now sank about 4.5 feet down below, surrounded by sand walls that exquisitely surrounding the body of water, as to remind us of the big transformation it has suffered, while protecting the new, still fragile landscape from the rushing hi-tide flooding the whole area again.
The inlet opening ~ which connects the two bodies of land ~ that was, in the past impossible to cross, is now much smaller and allows me do cross from one side to the other during the low tide, just walking across.

Its backdrop, like my own surroundings, found creative ways to adapt to the new design. The birds found a new nesting area; the marsh was growing fresh and filled with life on the other side of the river; the ocean water found new grounds to flood when the hi-tide comes in, creating a brand new habitat filled with life that was not there before, and on things go as they might.

As I reached the inlet, I sat there, soaking in all the changes and beauty. The similarities between me and my little paradise was astonishing. It made me finally realize that the eye of the storm has passed and we have both survived.

My redesign took 3 years, almost to the date to become who I am becoming and, like it did with my little sanctuary, it has created new curves and lines on the shore. It is again renewed, reborn, filled with life, hopes and possibilities.

Being able to sit there and see the rush of the ocean in one side, and the serene curves and water of the inlet on the other, taught me quietly  that opposites can co-exist.

I have a need for passion and, at the same time, I am on a quest for balance. This new scenery showed me that I can have both as long I can understand and respect its limitations, weakness and strengths.

Sometimes the passion (the ocean) has to come in, take control of the balance (the river) and then, some other times, the river (the balance) has to push the ocean (the passion) away to allow life to emerge.

There is a subtle balance between the rush and openness of the ocean and the serene peace and quiet of the little inlet. I realize that changes don’t have always to be a bad thing, and I can have both passion and balance in my life.

I figure that our new design works perfectly with the life we now live. It is filled with an unique beauty. It has interest, nuances one need to focus on, new designs, lots of character, charm and an immense array of possibilities.

It becomes clear that everything was okay between the inlet and I, and the only memories left of this place, are the memories of peace, rebirth, joy and happiness. Memories of rebirth and new beginnings.

As I looked at the exceptional changes in my Inlet,  I was certain that I too, like my little paradise, have changed and became a new and enhanced version of my old self. The horizon is open and clear as far as my eyes can see. The path, I now take, is open, wide, sunshine bright and clear right in front of me.

Well, the point is to tell you that, no matter where you are, no matter how far you believe tomorrow is. How much it feels like this the back bending pain will never leave. How hard is to believe that you will stand up again, just be patient. Take time to meditate. Make time to breathe deeply. Be lovingly and forgiven with yourself. Let time do what it does best. Allow a new landscape bring all back to life. Learn the lesson in your way and be ready for that day when you just open your eyes and discover that it is all okay. That life is just a wonderful thing and it is worth to be lived at its fullest.

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability…To be alive is to be vulnerable.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle
by N. Cardoso 10/07/2012

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