I remember the first time as a kid being caught off guard by ocean waves. Having grown up in the prairies outside of a dry, Washington town, I did not have a lot of experience with the ocean but fell in love the moment I laid eyes on that wide, blue expanse. I remember being on the beach, standing in the surf when a big wave all but pushed me over by the force and pull. Scrambling out of the water ahead of the next wave, I stood on the sand perturbed and slightly betrayed, how could something I just fell in love with be so pushy?

Sometimes I find myself doing the same with life. This last week in particular. It wasn’t until the end of the week that not only was I able to scramble out of the water, so to speak, but I was able to also assess the patterns that had wreaked such effect in my life recently. And in assessing the pattern, just as in catching the rhythm of the waves, I realized that there was no ‘bully’ at hand but rather a predictable ebb and flow of hope and anticipation countered by disappointment and fear. Again and again as I continue an endeavor that takes the best part of my dreams and gifts to create. Once I recognized the moments that were creating such opposing responses, I, with good humor, gave myself some grace. And noted over the next several days when I was getting caught in the thoughts that led to my being impacted by the waves in the first place.

Like standing just outside the force of the waves, we can notice when we are being thrown off course and take a quiet moment in our day to pause, observe and put together the circumstances, the patterns that impact us. And we can change accordingly.

As we wrap up this blog series on finding a way out of the emotional tumult life post-traumas can bring, I hope for you too the clarity, and good-humored grace to observe the patterns, to see the waves, and to respond to their rhythm in a way that brings a greater sense of peace and autonomy in your life.

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