A Smoother Shore

Each weekday morning, I follow a particular routine. I get up, let the dogs out (and back in), I get coffee, I check my schedule for the day and figure out how best to prioritize my time, and then I get to the business of journaling.

I don’t usually share this journaling, because it’s just my daily thoughts and life…nothing particularl interesting to an outside audience, but necessary to my inner peace and personal growth.

I usually have some sort of meditative reading that I do to kick things off and get my mind going…because, let’s face it, in the morning, my mind isn’t really ready to think on its own yet.

Currently, I’m working through Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening. He provides short, contemplative essays for each day of the year, along with some suggestions for meditations. I often find, in these writing and activities, things to chew on for the whole day…and beyond.

Today’s entry, for example, is called “Repetition is Not Failure.” Here’s an excerpt:

What we need to learn comes when we need it, no matter how old or young, no matter how many times we have to start over, no matter how many times we have to learn the same lesson. We fall down as many times as we need to, to learn how to fall and get up.

And one of the meditations is this…

Sit quietly, and as you breathe, see yourself as a shore and this recurring piece of life as a wave whose job is to make you smooth.

These meditations often strike me on a personal level, because they are written in such a way that they can apply to so many different situations and be interpreted in dozens of ways.

For me, my mind directly went to my current situation with my husband. We repeatedly find ourselves arguing over our sex life, falling away from each other because of the stresses and demands of daily life, and then finding our way back to each other. There are a lot of ways to look at this. I know my husband’s view is quite negative (and understandably so). He see’s it as being emotionally exhausting (and I agree). But when I read things like today’s entry in Nepo’s book, I can also see it as a cycle…an ebb and flow…

We are the “shore and this recurring piece of life [is] a wave whose job it to make [us] smooth.”

Rather than seeing it as wearing us down, what if I see it as making us smooth? Because each time we enter a season of discord, we do so with more knowledge, understanding, and awareness of each other.

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