This morning, I finished day three of a mediation app I downloaded last week to help me center and calm my thoughts. I discovered this little gem last week in the Bahamas where I ran away to escape the madness of my crazy life. I am fortunate because not only do I have supportive co-workers and leaders who made it easy for me to drop everything and take some much needed time off, but I am also grateful I know myself well enough to know that this form of radical self-care was exactly what I needed. So I did. I dropped what I was doing, packed my bags and 24 hours later landed in Nassau.
Life is sometimes like that. It gets so crazy and intense that the only thing you can do is acknowledge the Universe’s tug on your soul and give in. Sometimes struggle after struggle comes against us not to hurt or harm us, but to solely get our attention. And instead of acknowledging chaos’s call, we misread its cues and suit up with with our small and ineffective army of battle companions – hurt, confusion, anger, shame and pain ready to fight a war we will never win. The more we fight the worse things become. To our own detriment, we make our messes even messier when we attempt to battle it out this way. In reality, however, sometimes the best way to fight life’s hardship is to simply stop fighting. Stop warring. Stop struggling. Stop pleading and stop begging for peace and simply… Be Peace. “Peace be still.” After all … our adversaries cannot fight unwilling opponents, right? And so I did, I let go of the battle and decided to go on vacation two weeks early in hopes I could stop fighting and find peace; stop stressing and start living; stop worrying and start breathing; stop weeping and find joy.
When I got to the Bahamas my mind was on full mental rage. All kinds of negative thoughts were swirling through me and my mind was all over the place. Honestly, it took two full days before the swirl of thoughts and negative emotions began to subside and I could really begin to sift through them and sort them into neat little mental boxes with lids I could eventually close and put to rest. For some it was easy. For others not so much. In fact, I was able to win some of the battles I’d been fighting this way and yet other more complicated ones simply remained. I soon realized that I had to find a way to make peace with even those problems I couldn’t resolve. It is okay. Perhaps these big, hairy audacious problems were never battles I was meant to fight. Perhaps they were the greater source of my stress and anxiety because I was putting immeasurable effort into trying to contain them. And by letting go of the battle, I in essence was acknowledging that I was never meant to fight them alone.
And so for five days, I sat on beautiful white sand beaches, stared at the crystal blue sea, and let the wind caress me and the sun bathe me in it’s glory and finally I began to RELEASE. Release the tension. Release the stress. Release the hurt, pain and anxiety that had built up so deep within me that the pressure of it all was killing me slowly. And was that not it’s intent all along? To rob me of my best life. To destroy the good inherently in me. Was it not designed to kill even the best parts of me? And so by letting go of the battle, I not only won the raging war within, but I also let go of the need to win and gave permission to the One who is greater than me to fight on my behalf. Let. It. Go.
It’s funny how God works. Throughout my five days in the Bahamas not only did my head clear, but my priorities re-centered on what truly mattered most – Me. And I was eventually able to gain perspective on my problems. On Wednesday, during my morning meditation, I decided that I would parasail. It was just that simple. I’d been watching people go up the day before and I decided that I too wanted to fly. I wanted to fly high above my circumstances and let the wind carry me away from my crazy life. And so I did it. I jumped on the back of Renaldo’s jet ski and rode with him over to a speed boat that eventually took me to the back of the parasailing platform. It was there that I was lifted above my life’s troubles, and the experience was nothing short of amazing.
As I drifted miles and miles above the island, my mind calmed and relaxed, and I found peace amidst the majesty of it all. God made his presence known. Miles above beautiful blue green waters, I could see all of His magnificent creation with crystal clarity. The brown rocks and the speckled patterns they made beneath the water, the uniformity of the smooth white sand beaches and the way they met those crystal waters danced with them and returned them back to sea with each ebb and flow. Was I not created more valuable than these? As I watched, birds flew aimlessly nearby without a care in the world and the people beneath me got smaller and smaller. I watched them scurry about beneath me like ants, and I ascended … Higher, Higher, Higher! It was then that I received my breakthrough.
Parasailing reminded how simply beautiful and complex God is all at the same time. I was reminded that I was viewing my problems with a very small lens, when in reality my troubles were very finite and limited when viewed from God’s larger perspective. The higher I sailed the smaller I became and the larger God simply was. And then I realized it. God was God and God alone. He didn’t need me to fight His battles. I was in His way. Not only could He resolve and fix what was broken in my life, but what’s more He could create something brand new in me and for me. Something better. Something more beautiful than I could ever imagine. The only thing He required was my undying trust in Him. And by trusting Him like this, I could let go of the battle I’d been fighting and rest easy in knowing He would fix things in my life when my life was ready, willing and able to receive the blessings.