By Nicolle Rosario, Echo Trainer
Life can be compared to a puzzle. It is comprised of many small pieces. When we see the pieces together, a complete picture is formed. On the other hand, when we see each piece on its own, the picture is but a fragment of what life could be. At times, we forget the big picture. Small pieces of the puzzle take precedence and often we value these pieces so much, that we begin to mistake them, as if they were the entire puzzle. The thought of my high school boyfriend comes to mind, after 8 months of note-passing and chaperoned visits, he broke up with me and I truly believed the world had ended.
I’ve lived my life as if I were an unsinkable ship – full-speed, straight ahead. The destination was the only constant on my radar. Good grades, college degree, a strong work ethic, obedience and discipline. One could say, my result-oriented perspectives were the only pieces of the puzzle I paid any attention to. I was disillusioned into believing these pieces represented the entire picture of my life. My focus was on the arrival of my unsinkable ship and the approval of the passengers journeying along the way. Forging through the surface, I rarely acknowledged the powerful pieces that lay beneath. However, when life happened upon an ocean of icebergs, as life inevitably does, the power beneath could no longer be denied. As I sank into the frozen waters below, I could now see, all at once, the immensity of all I’d forgotten.
Like many, I’ve grown up to believe that what exists on the surface is the entire picture. As a child, it was my behavior and my grades. As an adult it was my education, income, the size of my house, the adorableness and obedience of my children. As a lover it was the size of my ring and the happily-ever-after pictures suspended in the virtual reality of social media.
I think back to a small, barely known film, called Titanic. I would assume the words “my heart will go on” crash through many people’s minds. As I crashed into my own depth, I realized the pieces missing were those of my heart. I needed for it to go on living. As the ship sank, I could see how much I had been hurting, needing, ignoring. I remembered back to a quote I once read, “Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect. It is important to know how to feel, how to respond, and how to let life in so that it can touch you.”
I wanted to quickly swim back to the surface, let everyone know I was okay. However, I did something different. I paused. I thought about the iceberg that stood before me. The enormity of its unseen strength. I decided to explore all that I had ignored beneath the surface. What I found below, was not a destination or the approval of the passengers in my life. Instead, I found empathy for myself and others, patience, the ability to listen without the intent to respond, a deeper understanding and a dulled impulse to judge and label. I let the surface crash above and spent time valuing the power beneath it. The harmonious effort of it all allowed me to experience the fullness of life in I way I could not have previously imagined.
They say “Easier said than done.” I’ve been with Echo in various capacities for the last couple of years. Spouting off words of wisdom, words of complete pictures, words of the fullness that life can be when you pause and go below. However, I realize now, I was teaching this from the bow of my own unsinkable ship. I am happy to say that I now own a submarine. I’m constantly exploring the depths below, yet, keeping an eye on the surface from my periscope.
Introducing Our New Trainer!
Nicolle Rosario holds a BA in Psychology with an emphasis on Child Development from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is working towards her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. After spending over a decade working in various capacities with children and families, Nicolle has a deep understanding of the joys and challenges that exists between parent and child. She has discovered it’s not about mastering obedience, it’s how well you connect with your child on an emotional, developmental and empathic level.