This morning we were discussing how far we could swim, both as children and adults. I was, and still am not, a strong swimmer. When swimming classes were on at school, I would feign illness or cramp so no one would know what an inherent fear I had of going in out of my depth (due to a near drowning experience as a toddler).
As part of swimming we would have to swim out to the ‘raft’and back at EmilyBay. I would watch enviously as others did
it effortlessly and with such enthusiasm. In comparison, as soon as I couldn’t feel the sand beneath my feet I would begin to panic and hyperventilate, which in turn, made me sink, and worried I was about to drown, I would turn back and head for shore.
With that fear ruling my life I never learnt to swim, I fashioned a half crawl/swim that looked a bit like a rescue stroke. I was so embarrassed,being the only one of my peers who couldn’t swim. If there was anyone I knew at the beach, I didn’t go in the
water past my knees.
One day, I decided I’d swim out to the raft, even if it killed me! The beach was almost deserted as I determinedly strode in. I began ‘swimming’as soon as the water was waist height, after all, there was no point waiting around, was there?
About halfway the raft seemed to be still too far in the distance. I was getting puffed and just a little panicky. I stayed there, treading water until my panic subsided, and then began to work my way towards it again. There was no way I was giving in now!
Finally I reached the raft! It would have taken me a good hour to get there and I was exhausted. I dragged myself up and lay there trying to catch my breath while admiring the shore, so very far away.
The raft was quite crowded by this time, with everyone horsing around above me. My sense of achievement was short-lived, when someone picked me up and threw me in the water…
I began screaming, the panic overwhelming me as I tried to tread water with legs like jelly….until someone yelled out ‘Stand up!’
As I did I realised the water wasn’t even over my shoulders! Boy did I feel silly! Needless to say I walked back… I still revelled in my achievement though: I'd swum to the raft, without anyone’s help, without succumbing to my panic completely and utterly – I was awesome! And the best part was, I had been safe all along, thanks to an abnormally low tide.
After I’d told my story a few things occurred to me. One was that I've always been hard on myself, that to me, life has always been about sink or swim. (but that is so not what I want to talk about…maybe another time...?!)
As I thought about it, I drew a comparison between life in general.
Sometimes when we’re trying to achieve our goals and working towards our dreams, we feel as if we are isolated and alone. It can be tempting to turn back or try something safer instead of testing our strength and boundaries. Sometimes the panic of change can immobilise us, but if we just pause and wait until we have the strength or the inner knowing to carry on, we will achieve what we set out to do. We shouldn’t give up because we ‘swim’ differently or we’re worried people will laugh at our dreams. Oftentimes we find the end result isn’t always what we thought it was, or the huge challenge we envisioned and dreaded…..But most importantly, we are never alone!
The Universe, our guides and angels are always there, no matter what depth we are 'swimming' at, to support us, to help us through tough times and to celebrate our achievements no matter how trivial they may appear to be to others!
Sooo, have you got a childhood memory you haven’t thought about for a while that contains a lesson you need to revisit?