By the Seaside: Persistence
by Cathleen Elise Rossiter
“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
Persistence – that life-saving quality of all who succeed, that life-changing quality of which so many feel the lack even in the face of proof to the contrary – is what keeps us going, gives us hope, allows us to reach our goals and fulfill our dreams.
Persistence is that gnawing notion in the back of our minds, in the hidden recesses of our innermost being that tells us not to give up, to try just one more time because this time will bring us the results for which we have been hoping.
Persistence brings with it a certain amount of discipline because through our persistence we experience mental and moral training, our personal version of The School of American Ballet or Julliard or training for The Olympics.
Ultimately, if we cease to persist, we die – physically or emotionally, we die -, for the soul of the word persist is existence.
With August just beginning and the summer winding to a close, I think of walks along the beach, soaking in the sun and the music of the surf penetrating my soul in a continuous call. The rhythmic repetition of the waves persistently lapping or crashing on the sand has a cleansing effect on the brain, overtaking all external thought, drawing the mind inward for reflection, clarification, and healing. The more we succumb to the reflection, clarification, and healing that the surf affords, the stronger we become in our belief in ourselves and the gift we are to the world. The more we heal our relationship with ourselves, the more we desire to heal our relationships in the wider circles of our family, friends, and various communities. This desire breeds the never-give-up mentality that pursues the relationship until it is healed then to persist in keeping it healthy.
We all have our own set of experiential and emotional baggage to unpack, sort through and determine what is in good shape and can be hung up, what needs cleaning and how much of a cleaning it needs, as well as what simply needs to be thrown away. Because we all pack differently – taking more or fewer things than others, taking great care or none in the act of packing our belongings, taking items that need pampering or no care at all -, our sundry healings may take just a little time or may take decades. The amount of time it takes to heal is irrelevant, as the waves on the sand remind me. What matters is that we keep at it; that we refuse to stop kissing the shoreline of our own healing no matter how many times we send ourselves away; that we remind ourselves how much we want someone to think enough of us to persist in the pursuit of us even when we turn others away, then do likewise for the other people in our lives.