The following is an update to my post on November 26, 2021. “2022 Words to Live By.”
This week will be the first anniversary of moving to our forever house near the shore of Lake Michigan. It is often said that what a difference a year can make in one’s life and yet many things stay the same.
For example, Lake Michigan’s conditions often are ripe for rip currents. The location of rip currents can be difficult to predict; some tend to recur always in the same places, but others can appear and disappear suddenly at various locations along the beach. A rip current is strongest closest to the surface. What most beachgoers do not understand is the surface of a rip current often is a smooth area of water without breaking waves, and this deceptive appearance may cause some beachgoers to believe that it is a suitable place to the enter the water.
“Each day is the scholar of yesterday.” Publilius Syrus
Wholeness pertains to all aspects of human nature, especially one’s physical, intellectual, and spiritual development.
The appearance and disappearance of rip currents is dependent on the bottom topography and the exact direction from which the surfs and swells are coming. The spirit is the bottom topography of life; and it is that foundation that takes on the existence of rip currents in mind and body.
How does one survive a rip current?
A person caught in a rip current can be swept away from shore very quickly because rip currents are extraordinarily strong and move perpendicular to the shore. Drownings occur when the swimmer panics exhausting themselves by fighting against the force of the current.
The most important thing to remember when ever I am caught in a rip current in water or in life is not to panic. Continue to breathe, try to keep my head above water, and do not exhaust myself fighting against the force of the current. The best way to escape a rip current is by swimming parallel to the shore instead of towards it, since rip currents are often narrow in width.
Panic is one of the most difficult habits to break when in the middle of one of life’s rip currents especially when it comes to physical survival. If every habit has 3 components: a trigger, a routine, and a reward, then what reward can there be in the habit of panicking?
Is it a desire for sympathy? Is it the loneliness for attention? Or is it a cry for help?
For harmony to exist in mind, body, and spirit in my life, I have made the conscious decision to stop cancer’s outspoken narrative. I thought by controlling the narrative of speaking out on my diagnosis with chronic myeloid leukemia that I may also have inspiring affect on others who carry a similar health burden. No matter how you may look upon my openness to speak on it, I have decided that I have given this rip current too much power. I will no longer speak privately or publicly about it instead I will just swim parallel to it.
Over the July 4th holiday, my sons and I had a chance to catch up and communicate about our changing perspectives on life. We were able to frankly discuss the topics closest to the surface and the deceptive appearance of each other’s life. After discussing all the relevant data in a meaningful way, they know their haven is on the shore with family at this idyllic place on Lake Michigan.
Perspective has been a key word to live by so far in 2022 both professionally and personally. I am breaking the habit of perfectionist thinking. Funny how a rip currents in mind and body can make us believe we can control outcomes when all we need to do is relax and allow the waves to eventually bring us ashore. It further confirms my perspective that harmony in mind, body, and spirit is allowing the spirit to lead the way.
Word to live by
What will these three words, wholeness, habits, and perspective continue to teach me as I live by them? I do not know. I am too busy sunning myself at the beach living them today.
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