by Deborah Globus
There’s something cool that happens with a Leap Day.
by Deborah Globus
I can see myself, sitting and crying on the beach. I am 24 years old, unemployed, married, and flailing in life. I am lost.
That day on the beach was my first retreat. I can’t remember the question I chose to guide me and keep me on track, but I know why I sat on the beach on that cold February day, crying. In that moment I admitted that I hated being a woman, and the admission devastated me.
I had always been more comfortable hanging out with guys. I had trouble with female friendships. They didn’t seem to stick, always breaking my heart. Even my beloved sister left the family, causing me to doubt my worth for years.
And I was lonely. My husband worked long, compulsive hours at work. I who had never spent a night alone until I was 21 years old, suddenly had hours and hours of solitude.
I longed for companionship. I longed for intimate, abiding relationships – ones that wouldn’t threaten my marriage, like the friendships with men did.
And so I cried. I sobbed on that beach, acknowledging this self-loathing and this chasm of longing inside of me – neither of which I knew how to address.
At that moment a swan appeared.
A swan egg misplaced in a duck’s nest, hatches. He’s different from the others, scorned. He’s envious of the swans he sees, yearning for their grace and beauty.
Little does he know that he is a swan.
He emerges from a long winter of isolation and is recognized by his kindred spirits, the beautiful swans, who take him as their own.
It was the perfect analogy of my own life, and it was there on the water floating by as if by magic and seemingly contrary to Nature, right there in front of me.
I was an ugly duckling, and it was awful. All the years of being bullied in HS, the years of depression, the years of feeling like an oddball because I collected crystals and adored dragons. It was absolutely awful.
That ugly duckling grew into himself, and therefore I could grow into myself.
That ugly duckling found a place of belonging, and therefore I could find a place of belonging. I could somehow find my tribe.
And it didn’t matter that I didn’t know how to make that happen. I didn’t know how a swan could show up on a beach on the North Shore of Long Island and yet, there it was.
I was - and still am - firmly convinced that the Universe set it there for me to receive that gift of hope. I had hope that in the same Providential way I was shown the swan, I would also be shown how to get from the place I was to the life I so desperately longed to live.
That’s the beach I’ll be going back to on Leap Day when I do my Wishes on the Water Ritual. That’s the beach where I’ll be setting my little origami boat on the waves, my dream written lovingly inside. That’s where I hope your big dream will be, too.
And I have no doubt that there will be swans.
The story of hope that I was given still applies. What is important to note is that the ugly little duckling was simultaneously the ugly duckling…and the swan.
He was both the pain of his current reality…and the promise of his desired future.
Just as I was, that day 20 years ago on the beach.
Just as your dream is.
And just as I discovered on that day on the beach 20 years ago, you do not have to know how to get from your current reality to your desired outcome.
All you need is a show of faith.
Commit to it, and the Universe will take care of showing you the way.
And that’s what my ritual is all about – I’m stating my commitment to my dream, my precious wish of being published.
It’s me saying “I don’t know how to get there, but I’m willing to be shown. Because, I really, really want this. I’ve despaired of ever having it but I’ve got faith that somehow, some way, this can be a reality.”
I know you’ve got a dream like that, too.
Something precious to you, something you long for so deeply it brings you to tears. Something that maybe you’ve despaired of ever making a reality. Something that you don’t have any idea of how to make it happen.
This is your chance for a show of faith.
Pay from the heart, tell me your wish, and I’ll set it free on the gently lapping shore of that magical beach. Hopefully with the blessing of swans.
My name is Deborah Globus and I am La Padre. With me you'll find the support you need to uncover practical, do-able spiritual practices that work for you. I offer new perspectives on old practices like journaling and ritual, with a side of compassion and a healthy dose of humor, just to keep it down-to-earth and real!