What I Learned
I have only ever swum in the ocean twice. The first time was two days ago. The second time was today. It only took me 50+ years to finally give it a try. Cross this item off my bucket list.
Is the ocean for me? No, I don’t think so. The first place I swam, the water was calmer, but under the surface was a lot of coral. And guess what can happen if a wave catches you just right? You can get a little cut up. Yep, you can.
Today I was at another location, and the water looked so inviting. It was a beautiful green-blue, with waves crashing against the rocks nearby. How wonderful, I thought. So I decided to try this swimming in the ocean thing again.
Boy, did I learn some things about myself and water today. I am a lake swimmer, a pool swimmer. I am not an ocean swimmer. I like my water manageable, perhaps even a little timid.
What does that say about me? I do surrender myself to Spirit with not even a blink, yet I struggled to surrender myself to the waves today.
I did eventually find a sweet spot where they didn’t pummel me so badly, but I had to be very aware of the rhythm of the waves as they ran in and out. I could feel the strength of the outward flow, and it unnerved me a bit, I will admit.
Today I left the water after about 20 minutes of struggle. I had a much better outcome the other day. I floated and paddled and only occasionally tasted the intense saltiness of the seawater as it washed over me.
I felt the feeling of exhilaration as I left the water that first time all the way down to my toes. I had conquered more than just the water with that first swim. I had begun to heal some personal stuff that had been haunting me for some time.
I didn’t do that alone, either. I had the love and support of a distant friend on the other end of the phone telling me I could love myself enough to give myself the gift of the experience of swimming in the ocean. And so I did. Thank you, my friend.
That first swim taught me that I did have the courage to do what I needed to for my own well-being and spiritual growth. Conquering a fear, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to another, is a very empowering thing.
Today I learned that if you lean in just right when a giant wave is coming at you, you will be able to stay on your feet. So the next time life sends a giant wave at me, I will know to lean into the experience, not try to outswim it.
In both cases, I had a bit of a time getting myself out of the situation I had gotten myself into. So I learned I need to plan my exit before I get in the water. And trial and error can teach you a lot about how to find your way out of unfamiliar territory.
I will surrender myself to the water again someday, and perhaps even the ocean. But it would have to be a quiet bay where the waves are small and the undertow nonexistent.
For now, I choose to watch from the shade on the beach, SPF 85 and hat in place. I will root for all of you ocean swimmers. Go catch those big waves! I’ll take the photographs.
The path you take is made by walking it.
All original material posted to this site is copyright 2012, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.