Splashing around with my two-year old daughter in the pool this past weekend, I admire her fearlessness. Even though the shallow end of the pool is well over her head, she has no concern that my arms will safely support her. Memories of my first swimming lessons in the same town decades earlier stir up feelings of fear, discomfort, and…shame. I protested those lessons to my mother, often in tears. Why was it so scary for me to doggie paddle about with the rest of the class as the instructor gently encouraged and guided us?
Maybe my TRUST was lacking. Maybe I knew too much. In back float, the slightest drop of my rear end or unexpected wave could suddenly submerge me from this precarious position. There’s no oxygen down there, I knew. I wouldn’t be able to breathe…and, what then? I shuddered to think until one day it happened.
I learned how to save myself. In the pool, as in life, it is all very scary until you master this skill, act, or COMMITMENT.
In the case of swimming, I eventually conquered the doggie paddle and learned how to expertly twist and turn myself to safety when my back float collapsed. My fear had subsided and I started looking forward to the pool. Maybe not swimming lessons per se, but splashing about in the pool or at the town beach. Jumping waves became the highlight of our summer vacation to visit my grandmother. How I could withstand the freezing ocean temperatures on Cape Cod now is beyond me, but, at the time, my legs would go numb in my delight. Those waves were exhilirating — a feeling I would never have experienced had I not learned how to swim…and to save myself.
In recent weeks, we’ve contemplated our willPower from the standpoints of VISION, DIGNITY, VIRTUE, INTEGRITY, and FAITH. In doing so, we’ve strengthened our willPower by making it deeply personal. This week, as we REMEMBER, a supporting cast appears in our memory. That supporting cast can indeed be “supporting” in a positive sense, but, more often than not, they are only “supporting” to the extent that your cause aligns with theirs. So, what happens if it does not?
Activate the word, REMEMBER. As in, REMEMBER who you are…why you started…where your VISION, DIGNITY, VIRTUE, INTEGRITY, and FAITH have you heading. Be unwavering in your desire even when it is uncomfortable or non-conforming to the supporting cast’s. REMEMBER whose life you’re living and dedicate your willPower practice to making it your own. To saving yourself. REMEMBER, this you must.