Walking along the beach can be a moving and insightful spiritual practice. In my last blog (Lessons from the Beach) I wrote about hunting for that perfect, exotic shell while missing the beauty that was all around and the lesson it revealed about life.
The next day I noticed anew the many shell pieces that each wave deposited on the sand. As someone who has been stringing beads since I was a kid, I suddenly saw unique jewelry pieces instead of broken shell fragments. Some of the pieces were smooth from being tumbled about in the ocean for a long time while others were jagged and sharp, indicating recent damage. The colors, patterns and shapes jumped out at me as each new wave deposited more at my feet. Once again I felt the nudge of a lesson emerging from this experience as beautiful jewelry pieces arrived at my feet.
There’s a slightly sarcastic meme that makes the rounds on social media: “Life: no one gets out alive“. The broken shells whispered a similar truth to me this past week. None of us gets through this journey called life without some damage. We all start out as perfect and beautiful and while this is who we truly are, as we are tossed, rolled and tumbled in the sea of life we sometimes show up with chipped edges, missing our expected outward beauty, or with part of us missing (physical or otherwise).
The key to not only surviving our tumble in the waves of life, but THRIVING is to see the beauty in ourselves and in others that remains – regardless of the journey’s impact. It is easy to make comparisons to the images put forth on TV and social media and find our lives lacking in so many areas, but this is a false comparison. We can find a better perspective when we take a cue from Nature once again, and see that beauty and purpose survives even the roughest seas.
No matter where life has taken us, what we have experienced or how broken we may be; we have something of value to share with the world. We know this deep in our hearts and spending time at the shore, in a forest, by a lake, in a meadow or anywhere in nature helps us to reconnect with this important truth.
When you’re feeling “less than” remember the simple lesson from the sea. No matter what condition you are in from your journey; you still have so much to give and a lot of life to live.
And so it is.