By: Susan Browning
The tide came in that day. I recall the exposition. I felt the cool air breathe upon my soul. It marked a returned cycle to where we had once been. “New rivers require new rhythms”, He whispered. It seems a long time ago now. A time I can’t even articulate, so much has changed. How I have grown.
I look back on that period of time with fondness as we stepped into those great unknowns. A spaciousness in life unanticipated. An invitation I hadn’t expected to receive. But I embraced it, I learnt, it seems over and over again, and again. And here we are again. Learning new levels of the same old lesson my life appears to echo: embracing slow.
I went back, you know. I returned to my heart’s longing. But it wasn’t what I thought. I went back to a pace I really honestly thought I could keep up with. I was here for that, and then I realised… I wasn’t. I’ve learnt too much here in the wide open spaces. I learnt to let my thoughts linger. To allow them full form, to take shape, to breathe, to feel, to be released.
There were oceans, deep wells in my heart worthy of attention. I learnt to feel the feelings in the moment, rather than pushing them down under a myriad of masks. My heart, a task I’d consider later… when I felt more like feeling. This was too important a life lesson to ignore in the current of expectations. The forecasting of an older version of me. I’d changed and the swelling for me to keep going deeper, yearned and tugged on my heart. I wanted to be free of those old ways. And instead abandoned to the beckoning waves.
The hinderings. The cages. The control. The voices. The fear, crippling, binding fear. I learnt once more were relics of my past. I learned again how I numb myself to my reality, uncertain of what I was really escaping – even in the moment, but here I see it’s required. An emotional arena to unpack the expanse of my heart. I needed to let go. I gave way to what my heart most desired. Them: the ones I love. More so than the dream I once felt was worthier than they. I learnt when I ran too fast, I left the ones I loved behind. That, was the biggest one.
I thought it was okay to keep running, because eventually surely they would catch up… or perhaps, I would get tired. I’m not even sure, really. I just know I missed them running alongside me – at their pace. Together. I know we’re better together – the wide open spaces had shown me this so clearly. I had to recognise I’m always ten thousand leaps ahead, and nothing they could do would be ever good enough… if I didn’t slow myself down. It happened you know. I said those words I’d come to regret, “it still isn’t enough”. My heart pounded back, “when will it BE enough?” These things we define with great importance are all just someone else’s expectations of timings. Of me. Someone else’s. Not my own. I’m sad inside, I wanted the pace to be just right – for us all. But I’ve changed. I am stronger now. And I like who I’ve become. Who I am becoming still.
I’m more present now, you know. I feel the wind upon my face, the sun on my back and I see the bees humming about. I spend more time in nature, the wildness of my soul connecting again to the simple things. The clouds, the unmerited cuddle, the eyebrow lift when they crack a joke only we know about. It’s in those little things slowness brings greater clarity. I don’t have to fill the voids, by filling my time. By giving me away to everyone else but them.
I freed my heart to see you really can have it all. They say, “Just not at the same time”. But I disagree, what does “all” really look like? Because I feel like I have it all. I’ve redefined what ALL is. Granted, it might not match your pace, but I’m okay with my stride. It suits me and my kind. When I reconsider “all”, I can see I have entirely everything I’ve ever needed – and then some.
I’m okay now, you know. And I still carry it… Those bruised conversations, the scars we put in each other. A wearied burden I let you down, I hurt your heart along the way. I hate that part. But I acknowledge it. Some days, though not often now, I want to cry… just to feel the depth of the pain. Our pain. You who were once so dear and preciously important… now peripheral in my life. My heart longs for peace in the hallways of past apologies uttered to no reception. But then my soul sombres…
He is in the wide open spaces. So is redemption. So is the beauty found in ashes. He’s taught me as He’s shaped me and called me deeper. He’s shown me the ones that need me most, have all of me. Some days I still get it wrong, you know. But here I am, months since we left off. Learning to heed the tide, the revelations of finding new rhythms in new rivers. Once again. This leading to new ground. Higher ground. The path I am meant to be on, is where I am meant to be.
If only a little wiser, a little less broken, a little more made whole.
Whilst walking a little slower.
Article supplied with thanks to Susan Browning.
About the Author: Susan is a worship leader, vocal coach and mentor encouraging you to be all you can be in fulfilling your purpose.