I teach a lot of swim lessons.
The kids who struggle the most are the ones who don’t relax in the water. The ones who avoid getting splashed in the face at all costs. The ones who tense up and flail their arms frantically in an attempt to swim.
Most of these kids are already capable of swimming.
But they are just fighting the water so badly that they can’t see it.
They can’t even comprehend that survival is possible if they would just relax.
We grown ups often go about our lives like those kids I teach who are terrified of the water.
We clench up. We fight whatever the metaphorical water is. We flail.
We expend a tremendous amount of energy in response to fear and the unknown, and ultimately, we get nowhere.
And we damn well drown ourselves in the process.
I’ve been doing the same thing recently.
It’s so easy to forget that the best thing we can to do survive is relax.
It’s so easy to fight the unknown. It’s such a natural response.
But it’s in surrendering that we ultimately learn to swim.
Life doesn’t end when you relax and surrender.
That’s when life truly begins.
I’ve been having to remind myself of that a lot lately.
There are a lot of unknowns right now in my life.
A LOT OF UNKNOWNS.
I don’t particularly like this many unknowns.
A couple little minor unknowns I’m okay with.
But a shitload of big ones?
Well, I’ve been allowing them to send me into that same flailing mode of those kids who are letting their fear of the water make it a lot harder to make any progress at all.
But the good news is I caught myself a lot sooner this time than I have in the past.
And now I’m relaxing.
And letting go.
And trusting that my body and my brain have got what it takes to navigate these choppy, unknown seas.
While the ride might be rough for a little while, those crystal-clear blue skies and the crisp, clean air that follow a storm are waiting on the other side.
And the less I fight and the more I surrender, the faster I’m gonna get to them.