I'm Moving to the Edge of the World by Myself.

What I find most captivating about the ocean is the way the waves just crashhh and crashhh and crashhh and crashhh.

At first it’s constant and soothing to me… and then it kinda freaks me out. It terrifies me because the crashing is constant and powerful, and I’m scared it’s going to stop. There’s no way such power can be sustainable. That the tide can just keep coming back in and in and in. And that it can go all the way out and then work its way back again. That just can’t happen.

It has to get tired.

It’s too good, too big, too beautiful to keep going forever.

And yet? It never stops. (I guess nobody ever told the ocean she was too loud, too powerful, or too big.)

Once the anxiety passes and I settle into trusting and enjoying the constant crashing of the waves, I feel safe. I feel in awe of the depth of the ocean- I literally can’t even imagine how far down it goes and what must be inside this part of the world I will never know.

I love to visit the ocean and test this part of myself- the part that finds peace and comfort in and deeply embraces ambiguity. The part of me that dares to trust and have hope and feel love for what might not last forever… For what’s out of my control.

I notice with each visit, I relax more quickly. The panic still hits me every time, but now it’s only for a moment. And then I dissolve into grateful tears and giggles. Literally. The locals probably think I’m nuts.

But I’m in awe of the ocean. I love it so much.
I love what it brings up in me, and what it allows me to release.

The first time I went to Florence, Oregon I was carrying so much pain and hatred in my heart. I was part of a coaching program and the topic that week was forgiveness. Perfect, right? Talk about divine timing. I spent an entire day on Haceta Beach, just talking in the ocean. There was nobody there, and I loved that the crashing waves drown out my voice even if there was anyone to hear it. It was just me and my god.

I shared with the ocean the pain I’d been carrying and the fear and shame and guilt and hesitation and worries. I shared how hard it was to forgive the ones who had hurt me when, though I was able to get out and move on, they continued to harm my younger siblings. I shared how hard it was to forgive and release the pain of it all knowing that the monsters now knew the pain they had inflicted on their children and loved ones, and they continued to cause it anyway.

And what I found wasn’t validation or justification or anything like that.

What I found was this deep realization of something I’d heard but never listened to- that hurt people hurt people. And that I was the result of the healing I wanted to create in the world. I was the healing, in human form.

I found peace in their violence, and I broke the cycle.

But. If I didn’t release the hurt, I was continuing the violence in and against my own heart. I couldn’t radiate the true peace and love and safety I’d discovered and created for myself and share it impactfully with the rest of the world… if I was still carrying this bitter resentment in my heart.

And honestly?

The burden of resentment is really heavy and I could feel it eating at me every second of every day.

I’m leaving all I’ve ever known to go live at the edge of the world in the town where peace and forgiveness finally came flooding in.

I’m going alone to the edge of the world to write my healing story. (And then bring it back to you.) I’m going alone to the edge of the world to explore healing in a new way. To face myself, exactly as I am without the buffer of the distractions I’ve grown accustomed to.

I’m not running away from anything. I’m running right into the arms of my deepest longing and my greatest fears, and nothing has ever felt more right in my life.

I know already that this time alone is a very temporary part of my life.

The slightest little blip in my story. A single winter, and maybe spring, that’s all. But I know that the impact this will have on my heart and my mind will ripple through all that I do for the rest of my life, too, and that to me is powerful, precious, and so very worth it.

I got the message loud and clear last month that many people in my life don’t approve.

Many people I admire and respect and look up to and want to make proud- they really really really don’t approve. And that hurt to hear. But ultimately? They don’t have to like the decision. It’s not for them. It’s for me.

And I’m ready to go.

A note for anyone holding their breath in the threshold of a massive life decision:

Embark on your own quests, and don’t let the fears of others hold you back. You can be smart and take wise advice into consideration, but ultimately you need to trust your heart and soul. You need to make decisions for your life. Nobody else is as responsible for it as you are.

Jessica PenaComment