Weekly YES Quote!
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
(The Penelopiad is an affiliate link)
When you look at water, what do you see? What do you feel?
For me there’s something soothing about being by the water.
Ocean, lake, river, creek, pond, fountain. Hell, sometimes just being in my bathtub.
The sight alone brings a sense of calming, release, and peace.
Water represents life. It represents rebirth.
(Makes sense why religions use water to baptize their new followers.)
That feeling when you jump in, just completely immersing yourself in water, there is an instant release. All the negative energy flooding your insides creating dissonance within your beautiful self. Drifting away, dissipating around you.
When you immerse yourself in water you feel cleaner, purer. You feel yourself releasing the negative energy that may have clung to your external features or is flooding your insides creating dissonance within your beautiful self.
When I’m most distraught, feeling overly anxious, or just need time to clear my head, I gravitate towards the water.
Today is an especially emotional day for me and my close friends. Today marks the one year anniversary of one of my brothers taking his life.
Life was painful for him. Despite the front he put up of a larger-than-life wild child, he had a deep rooted depression growing inside of him. Ultimately, he didn’t choose life. The suffering was too great and won out.
So here I sit at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego looking out at the harbor with tears streaming down my face remembering him.
The things I remember the most about my brother include his obnoxiously contagious laughter and crooked smile. He could fashion a delicious cocktail out of anything (seriously, he would put MacGyver to shame in a cocktail making competition). Our mutual love for pugs, we had matching pug sock and pug Christmas sweaters. His inability to lie to me when I sought his opinion on something, even when I wanted him to just agree with me. I still appreciated him standing his ground and telling me what he truly thought even if it was brutally opposite of what I wanted to hear.
Last year I was by his casket’s side mourning, laughing, hysterically crying and and then more laughing… the full spectrum of emotions. He took his life in his home country of The Netherlands and this year, one year later, because of the COVID-19 travel bans (which I do not disagree with), I am in my home of San Diego thousands of miles away from family on this horrific anniversary.
So while the sight of the harbor is helping to sooth my sorrows by reminding me that I’m alive, well, and happy. I wish I was boating at the lake behind my parent’s house in the Netherlands being blanketed by that body of water. But knowing they are there by the water and I am here by the water brings me some sense of comfort.
Life isn’t always fair, just, or what we want. Sometimes life just outright sucks. But if anything I’ve learned this year is that…(Life isn’t this continuous grandiose party, extravaganza, or festival.) Life isn’t anything other than what we make of it.
Last year I was biking through the town near home after we had picked up the ashes just taking in the beauty of it. He hated this place, he didn’t feel like he belonged here. It was not a place of comfort. And from that moment on I made a promise to myself that I would challenge myself to find beauty in everything. Even moments and places I didn’t feel comfortable in, I would find a way to find something. For him.
So, while I know tomorrow will be a better day, and the day after that I’ll push to make even better, make today great.
Make today so great that you’ll want to wake up again tomorrow.
Through the loss of my brother I’ve learned many things, but one in particular I will never decide otherwise on: I choose life.
I want to live. I want to be surrounded by others who want to live. And I never want to take life for granted.
Even though I would give anything to be with my family today, I am grateful that I have access to the water. I can be on the ocean shores of San Diego, and they can be on the lake shore of Noordlaren, and we are connected.
Even when life seems to suck the most I’d rather be alive dealing with the suckiness than not be here at all.
We all have either lost someone or will lose someone dear to us, and we each have a way of dealing with that loss.
Dealing with loss always leads me to water.
I need to hear the waves crashing against the shoreline, pier, or rocky embankment.
I need to feel the cool air as it glides over the water’s surface towards me.
I need to see the life below the surface thriving in its ecosystem.
I need to be reborn into the feeling that life goes on despite the heartache.
We’re all strong, but sometimes we need an extra boost. We need a hand to hold. We need a body of water to soothe us.
So whatever you’re facing today, know that I stand with you. I support you. I want you to feel and be alive despite the internal turmoil you may be facing.
If sitting next to a body of water relieves you as it does me, then please do it.
Do it. Whatever that “it” is is entirely yours. Only you can fulfill it.
Take this week to think about what brings you life.
Take this week to think about what makes your life worth living.
Take this week to enhance the world with your presence.
Reminder to Just Say Yes!
As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!
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The link to Margaret Atwood’s novella, The Penelopiad, is an affiliate link. If you purchase this book following my link I will receive a small kickback, and you will receive a wonderful edition to your collection!
I’d love it if you shared some of the ways this week’s quote has made you feel, and why you choose life.