As a child I would swim out to a floating dock, in the lake, my heart beating just a tad faster than normal and then with a sigh of relief I would scramble onto the relative safety of the dock.
Swimming back was more challenging for me. I didn’t know when the sand would rise up to meet me on the shore. I would swim, heart in my throat, until the sand was grazing my knees.
I dislike swimming in water where I cannot see the bottom but one day I was swimming laps in a pool and became panicked in the middle of the pool. I talked myself to safety. I never swam alone in that pool again.
Kayaking is also challenging for me. One summer my husband and I visited our son at the lodge where he works. It sits on a lake where they kayak, for fun. Come on Mom, we can go across the lake and picnic-he said.
Maybe, this time would be different. I could be in a tandem kayak with an expert paddler. Pretty darn safe and they had experience in case we tipped. This could be fun!
Even so, I wasn’t entirely comfortable until I remembered; I have tools now! And I began to use those tools to ease my anxiety. It worked. I wasn’t entirely at ease, but I didn’t panic.
Fast forward, to a winter vacation in Mexico and a day trip that included snorkeling. The last time I tried this I was in water up to my knees and I panicked as I put my face in the water with the mask on. But, this was years later and everyone was in the water but me. I asked myself –was I willing to let this opportunity slip by because of some unnamed fear? I would have a life jacket on. I didn’t have to wear the mask unless I wanted to. I didn’t have to breathe through the tube unless I wanted to.
I had choices.
With some trepidation I slipped over the side of the boat into the crystal clear water, at least I could see the bottom! I paddled around a little and discovered that I liked this. I put my mask on, still without the snorkel and put my face under water.
Wowsers! Beautiful fish surrounded me, some of them tickling my skin as they swam by. I came up for air. Maybe, just maybe I could try the snorkel. If I didn’t like it I could stop. I put the mouthpiece in and breathed. This was easy! Why did I think this was so hard?
I loved it! I may have been the last one in but I was also the last one out!
Courage quietly showed itself to me. Whatever energy I had shifted in the kayak allowed me to enjoy this breathtaking moment. My heart wasn’t in my throat. It was slowly beating in my chest and with each beat, my joy expanded. I had made a choice and courage quietly supported my choice.
Courage is simply the choice to be who we be-I am hearing. You are not your fears. They are simply a reaction to some event in your lives, past or present or they have been taught to you by well meaning others, who live with their own fears. It can be a cycle that never ends.
But through choice you can end it. You can look your fear in the eyes and through whatever tools you have or can find, you can choose to react or respond. We prefer responding to situations. Reactions limit you and will further box you into corners of no choice.
Prayer is a tool. Asking for help is a tool. They often go hand in hand and then just the right being comes along who gives you just information you need to enable you to move into choice. Oh, the freedom of choice. It is the ultimate gift that you have.
The deep waters will always be there. You don’t have to dive into them right away. You might choose to never do that-whatever those deep waters are, but we ask you to simply make sure that you are making a choice and not reacting from fear. You may still choose from fear-sometimes that is a wise thing and sometimes it isn’t. You dear ones are the only ones who get to choose for yourself.
We would so love to see you move into the joy of choice. The joy is always there, sitting right next to courage. Sometimes we notice that it takes a lot of courage to find the joy. When you do that we rise up as one in celebration for you.
Such magnificent beings of love and light you are! We dear ones are in absolute joy every time you step into who you be.
Go For Your Joy
Linda and The Group