I learned a life lesson this week. The kind of lesson we only learn through the pain of looking at the parts of us that we usually try so hard to hide. I was reminded by a former employee of mine that several years ago, I handled a situation involving her with less love and light than I like to think I handle things with. In my hurry to solve a problem, clean up a mess, check off an issue from my list and move on as quickly as possible I did the very thing that every one of us is most hurt by…I didn’t hear her. For years, she has carried the pain of being accused of something, and not having a voice, or the ability to have her side heard. Reflecting on this situation has remended me of “The Wave Story” from Tuesdays With Morrie…
“I heard a nice little story the other day,” Morrie says. He closes his eyes for a moment and I wait.
“Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air — until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “
“‘My God, this is terrible,’ the wave says ‘Look what’s going to happen to me!'”
“Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, ‘Why do you look so sad?’ “
“The first wave says, ‘You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?’ “
“The second wave says, ‘No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.’ “
I smile. Morrie closes his eyes again.
“Part of the ocean,” he says. “Part of the ocean.” I watch him breathe, in and out, in and out.
– Tuesdays with Morrie, page 179
We are all part of the ocean. And while we may look at ourselves and think, “I’m blue-green and you’re kind of teal, so we’re different”, we are all made of the same stuff. And we have the opportunity, at times in our lives, to roll together for awhile. My “coed-health club owner” wave crashed into the rocks, and guess what? I became a new wave. I emerged as a “women’s health club owner” and had the chance to roll with new waves. All part of the ocean. I know as that wave, I may have helped some other waves in their journey, and I can guess, painfully, that I caused some pain too. When that wave crashed into the rocks, I emerged, yet again as a new wave. I’m a Mom-wave, a fitness-instructor-wave, a blogger-wave. I ask all of the waves I have traveled with in the past to forgive me, for being a younger, more inexperienced wave. And I pray that as I roll with forward with the current waves in my life, that I listen to your sounds. That I identify more with being the ocean, than the current wave that I am.