When You're Finally At Peace, That's All You Need

When You're Finally At Peace, That's All You Need

I remember the sound of the roaring waves crashing against the shoreline.
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It was a beautiful summer evening, and the end of June was approaching. I found myself walking along the shore of South Carolina on a beach that was nearly empty, likely due to the fact that it was almost midnight. It had been exactly one year since I had been here. I was fresh out of high school, enjoying the summer between my senior year and my freshman year of college.

I remember it seemed as though everything was moving by so quickly - too quickly. There was a vague sense of apprehension, as well as a wild fear of the unknown as I began to count down the weeks until my first quarter began. I knew nothing of what would be coming my way as I finally ventured off into the real world, ready to engage in a full sense of independence and begin living my own life.

Throughout this process that seemed to drag on for an eternity, I noticed that I was seldom at peace. I was constantly out enjoying myself, trying to make the most of the time I had left before everything would change. Even in the moments where I was the happiest, the thought of this new lifestyle would often creep into the back of my mind and dissolve it. Looking back on things from my present point of view, I would never have expected to be as pleased with the outcome of my situation as I am.

I wish, in a sense, that I could go back to this day, to this location, and tell myself that things were going to fall into place.

I could not sleep, so I had hoped that a stroll through the sand would relax me. I remember the sound of the roaring waves crashing against the shoreline, with the faint smell of a bonfire wafting through the air. I also remember how much I had wanted to be alone in that moment, and for the first time in what seemed to be the longest of times, I was alone. I was completely alone with my thoughts.

I walked down this beach for what felt like miles. I lost track of time as I focused on the sound of the waves, losing myself in every collision. All that I do know is that this was the moment where I found what I had been longing for. I stood in that ocean, watching the glare of the moon shine down upon it, and I did nothing but think. I let every fear and inhibition race through my mind as I gazed out into that vast body of water, letting its beauty overtake me through every worry or concern.

There was something so utterly calming and peaceful about this experience that I could never describe it to the fullest extent.

It was then that I backed away from that magnificent ocean, taking a glance back, and I began to walk away.

Ahead in the distance were a cluster of rocks, and I soon found myself climbing atop them, positioning myself so that I was once again facing the water. I placed my bag down next to me, and I whipped out my notebook, writing down everything that I saw, everything that I felt, everything that I was experiencing.

It was on this empty beach in South Carolina that I gained a sense of the inner-peace that I had so desperately been seeking. I had the slightest idea of what my future held, or the obstacles could have potentially crossed my path. Yet, in that moment, it did not matter. Nothing mattered. For I was finally at peace, and that was all that I needed.

I wish, in a sense, that I could go back to this day, to this location, and tell myself that things were going to fall into place.

Cover Image Credit: Glen Jackson

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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The Selflessness Of Self-Care

It is OK to nurture yourself before nurturing others.

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Do you find yourself prioritizing taking care of others before taking care of yourself? I do.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Saiarchana, and I am a nurturer. Nurturing people is something that has almost become second-nature to me because I am so accustomed to doing it. I love uplifting others and being there to give them support when they are in need. I love giving support to others so much that I am even majoring in Psychology. Nurturing is something that is incredibly important to me. I nurture others because I don't want anyone to feel alone or unsupported.

But, sometimes I forget to nurture myself.

I used to believe that taking care of others involved sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice was my own energy and self-care. I lived under the belief that by pulling away and taking care of myself, I would be labeled as selfish. So, I kept on nurturing others around me.

Until I broke down.

I was giving so much support and care to others, that I had forgotten about me. I am also a very important person in my life. My relationship with myself is incredibly important, and I had forgotten that. I was so focused on pouring love and care to others, that I had forgotten to water myself with those same sustaining forces. I was getting drained and worn out from nurturing and giving love to so many people around me because I was neglecting myself.

When I realized what was happening, I finally understood: Love is not starvation. I do not need to starve myself in order to feed others. I do not need to neglect my self-care in order to care for and give love to the people around me. Nurturing others does not equate to neglecting myself. Because, once I neglect myself, I end up not being able to show up fully for the people in my life.

I read a quote by an influencer named Allie Michelle. Michelle said:

"Taking care of yourself is selfless. An empty well cannot give water to a village."

When I read this, it was as if my eyes developed clearer vision. I recognized that I believed that self-care was selfish when actually it is one of the most selfless things I can ever do for this world. When I am able to take care of myself, I am at a healthier and stable position to give care to others. When I give from a place of lack, I end up lacking more. Giving my energy to others when I am in desperate need of recharging my own energy will end up making me feel emptier. It is like the good analogy from Michelle's quote. I cannot give from an empty source. When I forget to give love and care to myself, I reach a point where there is nothing left to give to others, because I haven't maintained a solid foundation for myself.

Giving care to others should be a fulfilling experience, not a draining one. In order for it to be a fulfilling experience, I need to make sure I am not giving from a place of emptiness. I need to nurture myself because doing so will give me a stable foundation. So, I finally understand the key to nurturing others: making sure I am nurturing myself first.

So, what now?

I am going to continue giving love and care to others. But this time, I am going to make sure I am nurturing myself too.

I hope you nurture yourself too. You are worthy of the love and care you give to others.

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