Waves as experiences

I went for a stroll along the beach yesterday, and I got to enjoy three of my favorite activities: walking, people-watching, and contemplation.

I love being in my head because I now know how to be there without being overwhelmed by the stories I tell myself.

After I reached the pier, I spent about five minutes in peaceful solitude,

reflecting on the magnificence of life and feeling grateful for my ability to accept everything as it is.

As I observed the waves crashing onto the shore, I interpreted each one as a single life experience, with each wave's size representing the intensity of an individual experience.

The waves were fleeting, just as quickly as they came, they disappeared back into the landscape of the vast ocean they emanated from. There were no good waves or bad waves; there were just waves, no one more significant than the others.

When we have pleasant experiences, we treat them like waves in the ocean: they come, they go, we move on.

Interestingly, when we have unpleasant experiences, we tend to attach to them and keep replaying that wave smashing into the sand, over and again, as if that wave were any more memorable than any of its predecessors.

It's like saying that wave that smashed onto the coast on June 23rd, 1989, at 135pm was somehow a reflection of who I am.

Why can't we allow that wave (unpleasant encounter) to retreat into the ocean? Can we learn how to do that? Can we accept our undesirable experiences as just another wave and surrender our need for every wave to be perfect?

"Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments." Rose Kennedy



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