It’s time to take a different perspective on things. Take a moment and step back from everything that you are currently dealing with and look at it from a different angle. Your solution lies in changing your attitude towards the problem at hand. Soar above the drama and look through your own emotional boundaries so that you can find creative new ways to move forward. There is a clue in using the long hidden resources you already have.
Oh, you went on a cruise? Which one?”
Y’know, one of those that takes you out onto the sea for a few days…”
I answer the stranger with a wink. At first glance, the decision over which ports to visit appear to be of utmost importance when selecting a cruise. A marketing research company has likely informed the CEO of Carnival that “A cruise to nowhere” will not sell. But, for many experienced “cruisers”, the sea is the destination…and, as the seagull knows, for good reason…
My husband joins me on the balcony with a cigar from Catalina to accompany my glass of Merlot. We’re up at an unprecedented hour…midnight.
What are we doing up this late?”
We share a laugh thinking of our usual evening collapse as soon as we put our toddler to bed. You don’t realize how tiring the accumulation of daily life is or how unrestful your usual sleep patterns are until you catch a couple of nights’ sleep on a large ship moving at snail pace. Across the vast blue of the Pacific, your body seemingly heals overnight. The only lines on your face are laugh lines or the lines from a pillow crease…
Like the ocean, we all are meant to ebb and flow, to replenish, and to loosen the imaginary constraints around our necks, wrists, and feet. To free ourselves from the rigidity, tension, and stagnation…in our bodies, our conditioned beliefs, and our recurring stress patterns.
Every morning, an ocean view. Eventually, a new port emerges. This morning, a new flag…the Mexican one. At least, we could cross this border, I think and shrug off the annoyance. When others perceive you with a scarcity mindset, they attempt to control and profit from what is not really theirs to take. The Universe will remedy this, though. The Law of Karma follows intention and reinstates divine order and abundance. Scarcity is an unfounded fear, and jealousy is its demon companion. I look in his eyes and see I have everything I need… We have things that money simply cannot buy and others cannot steal.
The sea soothes away our problems as it rocks us to sleep. The vast expanse of the water around the massive ship broadens our limited landlocked perspective. In providing a canvas for rays of sunlight during the day and stars to shoot across at night, the sea reminds us to pause and just breathe it all in. As we inhale the salt air, we release the toxins of daily life and refill our mind, body, and soul with hope and a sense of abundance…
Abundance is a generic term for wealth, food, opportunity, or anything our ego wants us to feel scarcity toward. The ocean gives us the opportunity to heal this mindset by reflecting back to us our quintessential qualities. The ocean appears endless and deep, rich with the deep promise of the Earth’s beauty and the endless stream of possibilities experienced through our heart-to-heart connections.
Your heart is glowing and I’m crashing into you. Baby, kiss me before they turn the lights out. Before they turn the lights out. Baby, love my lights out. ~Beyoncé
Relax, baby. I won’t hurt you.”
How many times over the past year have I heard him say this. Fortunately, I was healing. The auto-tense trigger in my body was releasing. Visceral reactions from unwanted advances, unreciprocated feelings, and unlawful behavior. Deep resentment ensues when you allow this treatment to yourself. Like so many other women, I had closed down without noticing it. It’s an act of survival to the self-inflicted pain of staying in the bed, the relationship, or the marriage. Even after escape, though, no matter how much you intuitively know the past is past, wounds remain. Triggers attempt to keep you safe even when the danger is no longer there. It’s hard to regain trust…the trust of oneself…not to permit that again. I mustn’t close down, I think. He will take it personally. He will get frustrated and angry. He will misintrepet my triggers again with his own triggers and drift back into the darkness that perpetually taunts him.
Soulmate: when his triggers are mine to heal and mine are his.
I felt something the first time I met my husband. The irony of his first name, his initials, and the way he emerged…and kept reemerging in my life. The Universe was sending synchronistic smoke signals to me. I just didn’t know why, how, or what he was supposed to be to me. Six years after our initial meeting…
Hey baby, I know it’s weird to say this, but…”
Poking his head out onto the balcony, I’m reading the Paulo Coelho book he discovered while shopping in Catalina. He could tell the business books stored on my iPad were not captivating my attention like they usually do at home. I look up from my new book and encourage him to continue.
I’ve never felt this way before… I mean, I’ve never felt so…I don’t know, happy? Satisfied..? Does that make any sense?”
I grin knowingly for I can see it in his eyes. His transformation has been remarkable. The tumultuous currents in his eyes have disappeared. Softness has replaced hardness in his gaze, his forehead, his entire demeanor. He is looking and acting light years younger.
I don’t think you understand, baby. I never thought I would feel like this with any woman… I mean, I want to grow old with you. Is that weird? And, is that okay with you?”
I nod enthusiastically. Yes, please. What woman on the planet wouldn’t want to hear those words when her heart beats in tandem with the one speaking?
Good, because I’m yours forever…”
He drifts off looking out at the ocean. I understand the deeper relevance. For someone who had long been valued according to his youthful body, his athletic and sexual prowess, and a Calvin Klein worthy mid-section — and who measured his self-worth commensurately, growing old was an outcome he had, on occasion, planned to avoid at the ultimate cost. It certainly wasn’t anything he entertained with notions of “happily ever after”…
In the darkest night, I’ll…I’ll search through the crowds. Your face is all that I see. I’ll give you everything. Baby, love my lights out. Baby, love my lights out. You can turn my lights out. ~Beyoncé
Make a wish, Miss Sarah!”
Without hesitation, I close my eyes to the unspoken word, ‘Massimo’, and blow out the solitary candle on my mini birthday cake. I look over at him with knowing eyes as the crew and our adjacent passengers cheer. He places his large Sicilian hands over mine and says softly in a voice only I can hear,
I made the same wish you did.”
Life is divinely orchestrated when we allow it. The ebb and the flow. The synchronistic smoke signals. Of course, only time will tell exactly how…
We don’t have forever. Baby, daylight’s wasting. You better kiss me before our time is run out. Nobody sees what we see. They’re just hopelessly gazing. Baby, take me before they turn the lights out. Before our time is run out. Baby, love my lights out. ~Beyoncé
The seagull companion perched outside the deck carries the message of freedom and flight. With wings, he flies with freedom. With deliberate stillness, he stays with freedom. Ever observant, opportunistic, majestic, solitary, a traveler of this world. Vascillating between observation and flight, taking off and then landing, soaring and then snacking…
Babe, I’m going upstairs for a sandwich…want one?”
I say yes with my smile. It’s nice to be with someone who cares about your protein intake, mitigating your hunger levels, and knows exactly how to order for you. I imagine the conversation upstairs. At this point, my husband and the man behind one of the few truly 24-hour stations in the buffet are close friends. He is constantly hungry — and a pain in the ass most of the time — especially when he orders food. Thank God, I think. Someone hungrier and more neurotic than me.
Bobby, the usual except I’d like to add a little ham on mine today.”
The server’s name is actually Roberto, but my husband asked if it’d be okay to call him ‘Bobby’… Eager to please, ‘Bobby’ agreed and probably benefited from Michael’s My Blue Heaven tendencies (pre-tipping…)
Coming right up, Mr. Michael. Double turkey, a little ham, no mayonnaise on rye toasted, lettuce and tomato. Does Miss Sarah want hers toasted tonight or as a wrap?”
Toasted rye for my Jewish princess.”
He loves my heritage almost as much as I love his. It earns him points at work and a few laughs on-stage. I cut coupons, he buys me Gucci. A match made in…
I’m already thinking about where I want to go next year.”
Me, too. Our annual honeymoon. Better make that semiannual, I think. More effective than chemotherapy, oncologists should prescribe this, health insurance should cover this, cruise ships should market this…vacatherapy. Was it the sea air, the time together, the separation from land and modern-day devices, the constant — ? Our poor neighbors…yes. Theoretically, my third honeymoon. In feeling, my first. On honeymoon cruises past, I would notice something different in the chemistry between other newlywed couples, but shrugged off the insecurity as just my imagination. This honeymoon, I confirmed what I knew deep down to be true. To dream big and desire more from my relationships — more intimacy, romance, connection, passion, and…the intensity of an ocean blue deep kind of love.
I already feel like we’re one step out the door.”
I nod. Just like the seagull. There’s a time to stay perched and a time to take flight. Only an ocean separates us from our next adventure.
He needed wings too. They reveal to us the endless horizons of the imagination, they carry us to our dreams and distant places. It is our wings that allow us to know the roots of our fellow men and to learn from them.” ~Paulo Coelho
From an upcoming book, Unlocking Stella. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.