The life raft of hope

The moment of relief does not come at the time you expect it to. It comes sooner than you had anticipated, sooner than it makes sense. The relief and hope that was a mythical life raft, a distant mirage, a feeling and a moment that you had begun to believe may never come. You’ve been waiting, so cautiously, so impatiently, with so much longing.

And all of a sudden, without fanfare or warning, here you are, and here is your relief and here is your body exhaling. She is shuddering in the shower arms propped to walls, wracking through the shaking and stuttering of your body releasing what it has braced against all those years.

And in that iteration of you – that past self in that shower after that doctor appointment where you weren’t okay yet but he said you would be, and your body believed before your brain did – you held your breath through the exhale, stopping the full relief from taking hold of your vessel, because, it was too soon, Brain said. We are not in the clear yet. All evidence does not point to okay. Yet. Brain says, Hold. Hold. Hold. Wait for absolute safety. Absolute certainty. Wait out this breath. Hold. In this past iteration of you, you didn’t know any better. You took Brain’s word for it, curtailed the out-breath, caught the shuddering body in mid spasm, reversed the release. Brain told Body “hold.” Body did as Brain said.

It has taken you many years of study, of mistake making, of head against concrete kind of dumb perseverance to begin to let Brain do as Body says.

Because after that moment, when Body knew you would walk and dance again, it turns out you did walk and dance again. The future was coming for you with a certainty your body was already aligned to. While your brain sifted through fear and reason and its limited understanding of time, your body was releasing those long-held feelings. She knew. “You don’t have to live in dread anymore. We’ve found the life raft in this gale.” And she was climbing out of the stormy sea, and righting herself. Finding her breath and her balance. There was the journey ahead to dry land and sure-footedness, undoubtedly, but the hope and the knowingness centered her. Body was certain. The rest of you just needed time to follow suit.

So this evening, as the relief comes sooner than it makes sense to Brain, Body is melting and exhaling, Body is choosing. And Brain gets busy arguing, pontificating, a low grumbling “hold” escapes in this last ditch effort to stay braced in the perpetual longing of the life you have been praying yourself into.

So how do you soften, and dance with the inevitability of the universe, and allow all the prayers you’ve poured into your tiny little life? This is the moment of the paradigm shift. Body knows. The body is with all of the knowing of the universe. It doesn’t skip a beat but is the beating heart itself. And this moment of relief is coming for you like the wave that keeps barreling.

Find your raft.

And let this wave take you. You’ve put in the time and the muscle. The tides will not tear you asunder. And now love is barreling toward you with an inevitability that begs this moment of breath.

Full out-breath.

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