Over the Thanksgiving holiday I went on my first cruise with my husband, sister, and brother in law. It was a fun trip. A lot of new firsts for me. A part of recovery I am trying to do as much as possible is “live new experiences”. This cruise in itself is a new experience, drinking new drinks (most made custom for me by a mixologist), seeing new places, trying new foods (like duck), and taking a napkin folding class (o yes, channeling my inner Martha Stewart), even gambling in a casino (didn’t trip my trigger, I am WAY to competitive for those slot machines). While all of that was fun and neat, one of the best parts was being on the deck of the ship and looking at the ocean.
I maybe a Pisces but, I am not a big fan of water. I don’t like beaches too much (I won’t get up past my ankle), I am scared of drowning, and I can barely swim. I do however, enjoy the sounds of waves crashing, the smell of fresh creek water, how water trickles down a river or creek filled with rocks and leaves, the pure beauty of water and the science that makes up fresh and saltwater. My husband on the other hand, loves the water. He even misses being on a boat. He was in the Navy for six years so you can see why he has a thing for the ocean. Throughout our years together he has told me all sorts of stories. I love his stories of how he use to be on the ship and just look out at the sea and think. Just be. Or late at night in the middle of the ocean with all the lights off, look up at the sky and see countless stars. It all sounded so majestic and tranquil. I couldn’t wait to get my chance to look out at the sea.
Looking out off the deck and into the wild blue yonder of the ocean I was so at peace. Just in awe of this part of God’s creation that I don’t get to experience. I live in the mountains so I am more familiar with creeks (or criks as they say in Appalachia) and rivers. All of a sudden all of my love’s words on how the ocean made him feel I understood. It is easy to just be present. Be in the moment where it is nothing but you and the ocean. After some time all the thoughts that run endlessly across your mind are still. Nothing is going on. Just you listening to the sound of the fantail on the water making waves. Those thoughts seem to ebb and flow, and crash along the boat. No longer existing. It is quiet. My mind is very seldom quiet (something I am trying to work on. O that anxiety !) even in yoga I am now just getting to a very quiet and meditative Savasana (corpse pose).
I enjoyed those quiet times. My Melvin and anxiety thoughts ceased. I could just be with God and nature. Reconnect with my earth and Creator. As I am looking over the white railing feeling the sea spray upon my freshly washed face, I started to compare my thoughts with the waves. And then I thought of the verse about our sins and the ocean. “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities (sins). You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” Micah 7:19. Here I am on the picture representation of this verse. Needless to say I was blown away. I could only see 11 miles out/around (it is 11 miles from flat land to the horizon) and I couldn’t see down into the ocean. Just those 11 miles were so expansive! The ocean is truly big enough, giant enough, to house all our faults. Sometimes you need a picture or a real life model to fully gasp something.
How clearly you can think when anxious thoughts, food obsessed thoughts, exercise obsessed thoughts are no longer. In addition to my faults being on the bottom of the ocean floor, for that moment, I felt as if my Melvin induced thoughts were on the bottom of the ocean floor. I felt so light. So happy.
I won’t lie, I did pick them back up or I should say fished them back up, once I walked off the deck back into the boat. Even though I had fished them, I tried to live those new experiences that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. It wasn’t easy but there were moments of hope and fun.
Going on this trip really made me want to go on a yoga retreat that I have always wanted to do more than ever. My yoga instructor facilitates this retreat where you swim with dolphins, create art, and practice yoga on a boat and a beach. You live on this boat for a month and do nothing but self heal. One day I will go on this trip. Especially now since I know how the ocean can remove the dirt from you.