How living borderless kicks my butt
I am sitting on the edge of the water, watching the wind push it inward to the shore, and I’m contemplating the cycle of a wave’s life. I see the birthing way out there as the ocean rises, swelling, swaying. The rolling water grows and stacks up on top of itself, maturing. It peaks and then crashes, roaring loud and white-capping unapologetically as it moves in. Then, as if in a sudden mood shift, it shrinks rapidly upon its arrival, frantically dissolving before my eyes here at my feet. Exemplifying the many phases of beauty.
I am lost in wonder at how gorgeous this place is, mesmerized by the majesty of it all - the sand, the sea, the sounds of the waves coming in with their unbreaking rhythm.
And I wonder… Why have I never come here before? This has to be the closest thing to paradise on the planet. In fact, why don’t we just come live here?
And then I remember why it’s not as simple as just packing a U-HUAL and driving over - we looked up the local real estate on the third day. Three hundred thousand. That’s how many more individual dollars it would cost to buy a house here on the water than what it cost us to buy our house back home a few years ago. We found a house listed with a local agent that is the same age and size as our little white trimmed, tucked away cottage - and still it was six times the price of ours.
Apparently real estate agents know the therapeutic effect that the sea can have on a soul.
Maybe one day though. Because something about this place sets me free like nothing I’ve ever felt before. My mama used to drive down to the beach near our home on days when she needed to rejuvenate, to revive herself from the pull and rush of life. And now I see why she loved it so much, needed it so much. And now I do too. Maybe it’s genetic.
What is it about the crashing of the waves that slows down the crashing of a life?
I feel small here next to this immeasurable emerald expanse.
The vastness soothes me calm, melts away the tightness in my chest, opens me up to just… be. The flat, endless horizon line is smoothing out the rocky terrain in me, the places where I am jagged and sharp. The salt water corrodes the last year’s worth of built-up tension and I feel my body soften, unfurling these white knuckles.
Living borderless is easy when I’m here. Here, where I can breathe deep the carefree air as it announces it’s own opinion upon intake - pre-flavored with salt.
Here where I can watch the ocean expand and contract, it breathing too. Where I am all salty and sun kissed at the end of the day, evidence of soaking in all the adventures.
Living borderless isn’t a conscious choice on days like today, days of relaxation and play. It comes without effort on these days.
If only I could bottle this feeling, this way of being, and bring it back home with me to sip on on the days when I hesitate, reluctant to step forward with boldness. I know how the world can push back hard those who are brave enough to stand out. I know because I have been at the bottom, lying layers deep in defeat.
I know what it is to raise my voice, to stand for something, and then to be swiftly body slammed with a smile by those who disagree.
But even more than that, I know that while getting knocked down happens to all of us, it’s the staying down that is a choice - our choice - my choice.
And so I rise.
It takes me less time now, usually. But there have been some pits that have taken me years to crawl out of, to heal from.
But this living borderless inside me won’t quit. Even when I know that the pushback is going to be tough, even when I know the odds are stacked, even when I haven’t drawn out a map yet to get where I am setting off to, I just. can’t. stop.
As I sit here mulling over all of this, I remember what I brought with me in my bag today. I rummage through sunscreen bottles, ziplock bags of collected seashells, and sandy beach towels until I find them. I pull out my treasures, uncap my pen and, with it poised over my notepad, I pause to smile.
Is there anything more inviting than a fresh sheet of paper to line out a head full of thoughts? Reminds me of the holiday season and the therapeutic leveling out of a lump of dough, perfecting a pie crust. The blankness of it silently ushers me in, offers a place for me to pour out what is tumbling around in my head.
So I put pen to paper, the head-scramble scatters the surface, peppers it with my attempts to map out what living borderless is. Is there even a way to combine letters and words that will accurately bring to life the fire inside?
After a while, I think I have it. And I know I’m not the only one. All of us who are living borderless share this free spirited passion, this drive deep within us that demands to direct the paths of our lives.
And I have this written:
Living borderless is more than I know yet, but this is what I have figured out so far. It is a fire burning within, fueled simply by the boundless beat of my heart.
It’s mostly beautiful, sometimes ugly, and can even be both at once. It’s pursuing progress which might appear to some as surmountable setbacks. It’s seeing with the heart.
Living borderless is shaking societal standards - not for the sake of rebelling, but for the unleashing of love. It’s uncovering unknown strengths within ourselves - not for glory and fame, but to ignite and impact the world.
It is being rooted and grounded in the meaning of life, while being flexible in the approach we take to achieve its purpose.
Living borderless is crushing the confines we have placed on our thought processes, believing in our abilities, and doing justice so that we can cut a trail, find freedom, and invite others to join us on this journey.
We are intentional wanderers who spend a lifetime abolishing cultural boundaries so that we can empower the people on this planet and have an eternal impact on the lives of those we love.
I hash all these definitions out on paper, wonder if my pen will run out of ink soon, and then sigh heavily.
Because still, I’m human.
And there never fails to be a moment between each rising and setting of the sun that I shrink back from standing tall.
I am not exempt from the intimidation of seemingly infallible giants in my life.
So when the moment presents itself and I must decide whether or not to stand brave and choose borderless, I often ask myself this: Will the victory be worth the struggle?
Living borderless is rarely ever convenient, but when the hilltop is one that needs to be stood on and battled through, is it always worth it.
Whether it was standing my ground and acting on my rights to try for a home birth with my babies, or questioning the cultural norms of church and it’s definition of Christianity, or simply saying no to the crazy busy over-planned week and just staying home to hibernate with my husband and kids, going against the expectations of the ever-opinionated society in which we live has always been worth it.
So yah, living borderless is a tough choice some days. And yah, sometimes I’d rather bury my head in the sand, quite literally, than to make the choice to suit up and get on the field.
But those days when I choose to do living, borderless, they are the ones I often end up looking back on and smiling about - because if it is fueled by the fire of my heart, it is always. worth. the. struggle.