How One Night with Turtles Taught Me The Power of Struggle, Strength and Support
I heard a pounding on the door.
"The turtles are coming," they cried!
I was in Akumal, Mexico and learned that it was the season to see turtles hatch and make their perilous journey to the sea. The experience was unforgettable because in watching those little creatures struggle for the water, I saw myself and how everyone's journey to transformation can be fraught with pitfalls and traps. But more on that in a minute. Let's get back to the night of the turtles....
Little turtles hatching into a dangerous new world
After the announcement, I realized I had one chance to see the turtles break out of their little shells and make their way to their home in the sea. And a chance to make sense of why the turtles resonated so much with me.
I ran down to the beach where they had already begun to stream out into the sand. There were a number of onlookers and flashlights so I could see not only their rise to freedom from the sand but their plight in moving forward.
The turtles were moving toward the lights. Going sideways, going back toward their nesting place, wrestling against each other to find their way. Those of us gathered around were trying to guide them to the open water. Yet despite our best efforts, stray turtles were stuck in mounds of seaweed, in layers of sand or floundering upside down.
I felt for each and every one of them
Being birthed is only part of the process. Even when you shed your shell and find your way, there is more to navigate - for me anyway. Once I began learning about my own power to create my life I would have liked for it to be smooth swimming. Yet I have often felt like one of those little guys who are not only upside down, they're also caught in bundles of messy seaweed.
The bodies below are working slowly and in tandem to rise to freedom. To shuck off not only the shell casing they were born in but also to shift through the other turtles and sand amid hard rain and sometimes being crushed by unwitting beach goers all to find their ultimate home in the sea. Some never survive.
The birthing and freedom of these little guys makes me think of my own struggle to be free. My mountains of sand, seaweed and muck are more like fear, doubt and bouts of uncertainty. There are the surface turtles that we see. Bits of head and fin. But underneath... that's where the real work is being done.
The turtles aren't the only thing I remember...
The supporters on the beach that night--their flashlights, their encouragement - reminded me of the support we have all been given on our journey. Some gently push us towards freedom, some are more likely to picking you up and throw you, and some probably wishing they could throw you!
Each of you, as you share my journey to freedom are given the opportunity to both experience a transformation and shift and also to be the supportive light in a world filled with traps that threaten to ensnare as surely as the unwieldy seaweed that trapped those tiny bodies.