Not Being Seasick

I heard a line from Leonard Cohen’s poem Good Advice for Someone Like Me the other day: “If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.” Wow. I’m pretty sure I can end this post right there and let you meditate on his idea.

I can confidently say most of the time I’m metaphorically seasick. I’m worried about an upcoming potluck, getting more clients, or if I’ll ever figure out what’s happening with my health. I wouldn’t classify myself as anxious anymore but I also wouldn’t say I’m serene. I have moments of going with the flow but most of the time I’m cussing out God and proclaiming how much I hate It because things aren’t going my way.

Cohen’s line reminds me of surrender, which means to stop fighting. It’s when I’m fighting life on life’s terms that I get into a tizzy and metaphorically seasick. It’s when I’m not accepting what is that I feel anxious. There are some things I don’t think anyone should accept – injustice, inequality, and any of the -isms such as racism and sexism – but the smaller things, the reality of my life, I’d be better off leaning into.

hand holding shells

The peace! The tranquility! Photo by Biel Morro on Unsplash

I often joke that someone should make me the general manager of the universe because I have some GREAT ideas but alas, that’s not my role in this lifetime. In this lifetime I’m learning trust and surrender. I’m learning that the universe loves me and wants me to be happy, joyous, and free. I’m learning to let go of my attachment to how things should go and accept how things are going. Does that bring grief from time to time? Yes, it does. Am I feeling my feelings about it? Yes, I am.

What I’m learning here, in essence, is how to dissolve my ego, my little self, and merge it with the big Self. My spiritual teacher says, “If a salt doll goes to measure the sea, it will melt into it. Neither can it measure the sea, nor will it ever return; its existence will merge into the vastness of the sea, releasing it from all cares and worries. If one wishes to take the form of the sea, one will have to become the sea itself; there is no other way.”

I am becoming the sea, I am becoming the ocean. I’m recognizing not only does a higher power exist outside of me in the form of energy pervading the universe, but it also exists inside of me as me. From that framework, it’s easier for me to trust and surrender because um, hi, of course my deeper self wants things to work out for me. Of course my greater self sees a broader perspective and understands why it’s better for me to turn left when I thought I should have turned right.

When the Divine Beloved exists within me, as me, it’s easier for me to surrender and let myself become the ocean instead of bobbing along the surface and getting seasick.

I dream of a world where we let ourselves become the ocean. A world where we dissolve our little egos and surrender to something vaster than we can comprehend. A world where we accept life on life’s terms when appropriate and stop making ourselves seasick.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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