As I reach the water’s edge, I see the boundary where the safety of dry land ends and exploration into the unknown depths of the sea begins. The security and comfort of the land visible, yet being washed over repetitively by the strength and power of the waves. The sand shifts therapeutically beneath the foamy, crash of the tide. Here, it is familiar, reassuring and known. How will it feel to cross over into this unfamiliar territory? Am I brave enough to push through this boundary?
If I stay here I’m safe. No currents to sweep me into the unknown or take me off in a different direction. Feet planted firmly on the beach, I’m in control. The luxury of the familiar, soft white sand beneath my feet. Walking one foot in front of the other, moving forward but seeing the world the way I’ve always seen it. The water calls to me… blue and refreshing. A new perspective. But full of risk and challenge. If I allow myself to trust in nature, to feel the water carry my weight, what do I gain?
I like boundaries. I like the rules I create for myself. I like the familiarity of being in control. I like to stand on a firm foundation. And sometimes it’s essential to have these boundaries. They protect us and keep us safe. They allow us to understand what we will and will not tolerate. But life isn’t always predictable. Or tolerable. Or without waves. And sometimes the boundaries we set ourself can be damaging, by limiting our experience. By keeping us too comfortable. And not giving us the opportunity to develop the resilience to cope when things aren’t We all know the saying ‘growth happens outside our comfort zone.’ So when do we push ourself to break the boundaries? To do things differently, to tolerate the discomfort? I’ve learned there sometimes need to be some short term pain, for long term gain. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Often the outcome is worth it.
I’ve learned that sometimes, boundaries need to be like the shoreline. Changing with the tide, moving in and out and flexible enough to accommodate feelings, situations and growth.
And with that, I place my paddle board into the water, bathed by the orange glow from the sunset. Kneel onto the board and find the courage, (and the balance) to stand up and float towards the horizon.