I cried in the ocean today.
The salt of my tears mixed with the salt of the ocean,
co-mingling and becoming one with the sea.
A small contribution that mattered and didn’t matter at the same time.
I felt the pull of the undertow trying to take these tears,
these memories, and fears
far away from me.
The water scooped them up, gathered them into its growing hump
where engulfed, the whole billow crested
like the release at the end of a climax– only to disintegrate
and then reintegrate
the tiny drops of water back into one united tide
flowing out into the deep again.
There I left them, knowing they were safe and no longer mine to keep.
Floating now, my body buoyed up by that giant undulating mass
which held every tear ever cried—
I was finally free.
I wrote this at the beach just last week having finally released deep rooted trauma. When I was 6 years old, I was pulled under a wave, dragged against my will along jagged seashells, and sucked further under as I fought to swim to the top and breathe. When I finally emerged, bloody, gasping for breath, I had to put on a brave face and act like it was no big deal that I almost died. Because I didn’t let myself really cry it out and move through the grief of it, this scenario kept playing out later in life. As a teenager, and then a 20 something year old, and then again in my 30’s, I would get caught in the undertow or taken away in a riptide, fighting to swim back to shore…always alone, always too embarrassed to tell anyone how scared I was. So again and again I wouldn’t fully process my fear and instead grew ashamed. The terror became trapped in my body. But this time at the beach, I was comforted. The water was warm and the waves were gently rolling. I returned to babyhood, cradled in my mother’s womb. I was safe, surrounded by water but supported and nurtured in it. All the fear left me.
This is what can happen with trauma that doesn’t get resolved or fully processed. Life will keep giving you chances to reprocess that fear again, so you can get through to the other side. If you are noticing a repeated pattern of trauma in your life, energy work can also help to release the initial trauma. Healing Touch, Reiki, Emotion Code, Cranial-Sacral Therapy, and EMDR are just a few options of energy modalities to try. See which one works best for you.