But what about after a melanoma diagnosis? Well, the actions of packing that bag are the same...but for me, there is a lot more that goes into that bag, that weighs it down...heavily. It's "baggage" that gets thrown into my beach bag...my "stuff" from my experiences with melanoma- fears, anxieties, ruminating thoughts, etc. Let's just say, there's a substantial amount of baggage that rides along in my beach bag.
Today, in an attempt to escape the heat here in Granada, Spain, a day trip to the beach was planned. My beach bag gets pulled out of the suitcase, and all of the shit I mentioned above goes right on in...I know how to do this. I'm good at it. The actions of preparing for the beach are easy for me. It's the mental part that gets messy.
The bag and the baggage can't be separated (at this point). But I know that; I accept it. And I go forward anyway, knowing that something as important to me as the ocean, needs to be one of those things I do, and not avoid. I am well aware that if I start cutting off the things that feed my soul, I will end up in a pure, fear-driven zone, and that is not a place I want to be. I must continue to seek out that which brings me joy. Because if not, I'm not really living.
YES! It's crazy. I know that. And I don't care. I like to do everything I can do, to know that I'm as safe as I can be. After that, I must let go and allow myself to enjoy. Why even go, you ask? Putting myself through all of this insanity...for what? I'll tell you...
When I finally arrive at the beach, a place that no matter where in the world I am, no matter which sea, I am greeted with an indescribable sense of peace. For me, the beach experience creates a whole gestalt, so remarkable that it cannot be described by the summation of its parts. Visually, I can try to give you the image, but all I can say is that once there, I am so happy to be alive, to be in that moment, to be present.
As Erich Fromm said, "Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before." THAT is what being at a beach does for me! Is it worth all of the crap in the bag and the baggage that accompanies this bag? YES!
I do my favorite things here: I walk. I look for heart-shaped rocks. I sing the Suzanne Vega song that is stuck in my head. I breathe in the calm. I let go of anxiety. I smell the sea air. I feel the sand on my feet. I hear the waves crashing. I'm proud in my pale skin. I am grateful.
It's a different beach experience than before the cancer diagnosis....but that's ok. I am much more aware of many things now, and therefore more able to see the blessings all around me.
#livefully #lovedeeply #fuckfear
Marlene on the Wall by Suzanne Vega