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"Becoming the Ocean"

Why "Becoming the Ocean?"

"Becoming the Ocean" is a reference to a poem titled "Fear," by Kahlil Gibran. I have chosen it as the theme and title of my blog because it speaks to me so deeply of the transformation I as an individual and humanity as a collective are undergoing.


by Kahlil Gibran

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river cannot go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

The pandemic and other ongoing crises (climate change, racial justice, increasing political turmoil, for example) have put us face-to-face with our fear and our limitations. We are desperately holding on to old ways of being. In short, we resemble the river frantically trying to go back, terrified of the unknown of "becoming the ocean."


I, for one, am invoking old patterns for dealing with this fear. I am desperately trying to control what I am, in truth, absolutely powerless over. And I'm not the only one -- I see so many examples of those old habits in the people around me and society at large. Our old ways of thinking, our old identities, are simply not functional anymore, and we cannot go back to the "good ole days."


But "entering the ocean" is terrifying because it means losing our old identity of "being a river." Who will we be without our familiar sense of who we are? Can we really change that much? Can we trust that much? 

In this blog, I share my own struggles with these questions in hopes that my process will be somehow helpful to you on your journey from river to "becoming the ocean." Blessings on your path!

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