You are Oceanic
All she wanted
was to find a place to stretch her bones.
A place to lengthen her smiles
and spread her hair.
A place where her legs could walk
without cutting and bruising.
A place unchained.
She was born out of ocean breath.
I reminded her;
‘Stop pouring so much of yourself
into hearts that have no room
Do not thin yourself.
You do not bring the ocean to a river’.
Have you ever had the urge to just walk out of wherever you may be and “stretch your bones”? I certainly have had to restrain myself from doing so on more than one occasion. A part of me is always hearing the call of the unknown, urging me to let go of the responsibilities that I have shouldered over the years. I have named these urges my Thelma and Louise moments. While I have no intention of driving off a cliff per the film, I do harbor a strong desire to run away with the gypsies on most days.
As a woman and an empath, I sometimes get caught in the cycle of caring for others while forgetting to care for myself. I find this part of my personality difficult to manage and even more difficult to understand. Having given far too many years to others that did not value me in any meaningful way, the line from Tapiwa Mugabe’s poem, “Stop pouring so much of yourself into hearts that have no room” speaks to me. I see that my willingness to care deeply for others never came with an expectation of reciprocal treatment, quite the contrary. My motto in life has always been to lead by example with the hopes that I inspire those I care about in some small way. By doing so, I aim to instill a healthy curiosity leading to exploration of deeper and more meaningful truths.
After many years of living in this way, I have come to realize that no matter how many good intentions I have, I cannot force anyone to hold the precept of love in their heart. If their heart has no room, if they are unable to see the value in this end, it becomes an action of diminishing returns. Rather, I choose to believe in the possibility of being “unchained”, to live as if I were an ocean moving freely with the tides, predictable in my unpredictability. I wish to not worry so much about others souls with a knowing that only they have the ability to find themselves. This is not my responsibility and it never was. I can continue to be the best example I am capable of, but must let go of the end result with some grace and a belief that all will be well.
The gentle rhythm of the tides, holding within a fierce strength is representative of the ebb and flow of my inner self, my soul. To love another requires a give and take, a push and pull, a dance between moments of surrender and strength. At times I lead and at other times I allow the tides to take me where they will. It is in this surrender that I always find my voice, my strength. Trusting another to take the lead, becoming “unchained” from the illusions of love and not being fearful of the “cutting and bruising” that will inevitably happen, as it always will in the tides of a relationship, allows for a sense of peaceful acceptance. As long as I am seen and valued the rest is unimportant and not worth the worry. I am indeed an ocean: deep, thoughtful, intense, blissful, gentle, beautiful, strong, mysterious and so many other things. If I value myself first, I can than reveal the deep and beautiful oceans of my soul and know that I am free to love and be loved without restriction and unchained. There is nothing more mesmerizing than free flowing water.