I ran into a friend the other day and she asked me about teaching paddleboarding and specifically what happens when you fall in the water? I quickly responded with, “you get wet”. She shook this unsettling thought off and voiced her concern about the “dirty” water. I said there is more healing in being in the ocean and nature than not, and she agreed.
Later as I was on my way home a deeper answer came to me along with a feeling of calm and connectedness. Earlier in the year my mentor shared a story about his granddaughter not liking a vegetable. He asked if anyone ever told her they didn’t like her, and how did that feel? He explained to her that the vegetable feels the pain of feeling unwanted the same way she does. He then asked her if she can try a tiny piece of the vegetable, she naturally agreed to do this. For me this story explains what is happening when we see the ocean as “dirty” or “gross”, so adapted for nature here is how it might be shared with my friend:
We both have children and have experienced poo explosions where poo leaks out of the diaper and gets all over baby’s legs, back, clothes, pretty much everywhere (we probably do not remember that this most likely happened to us when we were babies). Often children are unhappy with this situation and their cries let us know they need to be attended to. Being caring parents we do our best to console and comfort our babies’ while we wipe them off and change their clothes.
Do we give the ocean and nature this same care and attention?
How would our children react if we neglected them the same way we do the ocean and nature?
Do we label our children “dirty” and abandon them to wallow in our unhealthy waste? How would our babies feel if we treated them this way? How do you suspect the ocean feels when we treat her this way?
For those who don’t have kids maybe you can relate to this:
Have you ever dated or wanted to date someone and they rejected you because they believe you are beneath them?
Maybe they see you as not good looking enough, or in a lower class or league, or unfit or unlovable in someway? Maybe at the thought of dating you they recoiled in horror and said something like ewww gross! How does that feel?
I have felt unloved, unheard, unwanted, and abandoned and it hurts, it’s no fun. Feeling this way has taught me empathy and compassion, when I see someone suffering I do my best to help. I have been taught to practice loving myself so I have enough “love notes” in my heart that I can use as wet wipes to “wash” someone in love and attention.
My dear sisters and brothers can we hear our mother’s cry? Our ocean and nature have “dirty diapers” and she needs to be attended to and cleaned up. She needs to be soothed and reassured that we love her and that we have her back. She needs to see us be conscious enough to both appreciate her and acknowledge how mistreated she is, and to take great care of ourselves so that we feel loved and have enough love to give freely.
It has been said that we treat others the way we treat ourselves. Seeing the abuse that we inflict on nature what does this say about how we treat ourselves?
What kind of thoughts do we have about ourselves? Do we give ourselves permission to do what we love? Do we often neglect our heart’s desire in attempt to please someone else or because we are afraid we will be punished? Can we start today, right now, and listen to what our heart really wants to do? What small step can we take in that direction?
What small step can we take today to clean up nature and be with her in a loving way?
Hera are a couple nature videos that I find amazing, I hope they are enjoyable: