Walking On Water: An Unconventional Salvation

Waling on Water. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

Walking on Water. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

From what I understand, most, if not all surfers identify with some sort of personal spirituality in which they acknowledge surfing as a major segway into the spiritual path they’ve chosen. It seems somewhat difficult to not be at least remotely acquainted with spirituality when your activity of choice is greatly known for its significance in the realm of spiritual rejuvenation and meditation. Surfing is a means by which many experience a temporary state of peace that transcends much of the logic and practicalities of the world. If the practice is repeated and nurtured, one could potentially bring their state of newfound tranquility back to the shore and implement it into their daily life. So it is no surprise that Groupons for surfing and yoga and other meditative practices are being sold left and right.

Spirituality is an inherently difficult concept to grasp, partly because it calls for a deep understanding of your own mind, your own will, and your own emotions. As we all know, this achievement of self-awareness is much easier said than done. This, I believe, is why many of us turn away from seeking any sort of spiritual path. We are simply overwhelmed. And in a world where our plates are already too heavily portioned with everyday struggles and stresses, it’s hard to make room for more, especially if we’re not even certain of why we’re adding it in the first place.

But the beauty of true spirituality is that it allows room for failure. Too often, the heavy label of religion presses an unnecessary weight on the shoulders of its followers, creating a stress that makes failure seem like an undesirable outcome. But the negative connotations that surround the idea of failure are only there because nine times out of ten we are taught that failure is something that makes us lesser of a person, rather than it’s intended purpose: to give us the potential to know more and grow more.

My spiritual journey began in a Christian church. I experienced trauma throughout my childhood, so I hopped from Sunday school to Youth Group to “Big Church”, clinging to each one for as long as I could. At a young age, I was thrown into an unavoidable state of vulnerability because my family life was extremely unstable and I didn’t yet know how to interpret it as wrong. As I got older, my fragile and broken beginnings molded me into the insecure and sensitive person that stayed with me through most of my adolescence. While I do feel like I had many very real spiritual experiences as a youngster, I would be lying if I said that church was not partly a bandage for my broken wing.

Since then I’ve decided to grow into my individuality a lot more. I’m twenty years old and I’m letting myself be that. I recently decided that there is nothing wrong with taking baby steps towards becoming what you ultimately want to be.  While I strive to be a better person in character, the reality of humanity has allowed me to expect less from myself as well as others. I’ve realized that holding yourself to high standards doesn’t rule out the idea of failing to meet those standards every now and then. In a similar sense, if you are more gracious towards yourself, knowing you are only human and will inevitably mess up and feel like a doofus from time to time, you are more likely to be gracious towards others for the same reason.

In a way, I feel like none of this growth could’ve happened if I hadn’t experienced surfing at least once. It only takes one session out there to learn patience, humility, and failure to some degree. Surfing made me a more relaxed and accepting person, and as a lover of the Ocean, I am a spiritual nomad, becoming more level-headed, gentle, and faithful each day.

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Alexandra is an avid thinker, unrelentlessly intrigued by reading, writing, talking and learning philosophy. She values knowledge through experience and believes that true virtue is earned by seeking knowledge through self-discipline, awareness, and patience. Throughout life, determining truth within her spectrum of beliefs has been a prominent goal, and this is reflected in her writing personality. Alexandra first fell in love with the ocean during a group paddle-boarding session on her eighteenth birthday, and her desire to abide in the Ocean increased every time she picked up a surfboard that summer. Since then, she is only anxious when she is forced by life to take a break from surfing, but through writing, she is able to keep a strong connection with the waves and those who surf them.

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