If you ever watched that movie Sleeping with The Enemy, you’d remember the scene when Julia Roberts’s character supposedly drowned in the dark ocean during a storm because supposedly she didn’t know how to swim.
I was a tween when I watched that movie and THAT scene left a mark in my memory. May be because I didn’t know how to swim, my parents tried to remedy the situation but that’s for another story. I almost drowned twice in my earlier years in water just a little higher above my head all because fear, for brief moments, took the best of my courage. The thought of swimming in the dark or under the rain was at times a half-awake dream of terror for me.
So I learned to swim in my early 30s (a funny story for another time). Then I broke through my fears by swimming in the ocean at dusk, sometimes in the rain, while training for a triathlon. The first time I swam in the ocean was so scary that my overly exaggerated emotions made me sink. My coach then got me to float on my back and had me consider what had just happened in order to show me it was only my mind sinking my body. I employed the technique other times in the water and still now in situations where my worries might exaggerate my reality, and then I turn it around and see that even if the problem is deep, I can still swim over it and make it to the other side.
These two pieces, Beautifully Fierce and Midnight Swim, remind me of bravery in stormy waters, of the courage it takes to breakthrough our fears. We play in the water, we also laugh in the darkness.
It’s strange but by being the creator of these pieces it’s almost like I mentally control the narrative in what and how much power stormy waters have over my life. It’s never planned that way when I start to create a piece.
In the same way, you create the narrative of how far your stormy waters reach your shore.
What are you afraid of right now? You too can swim over it and onto the other side.
PS: I’m proud to say… I became a great swimmer. 🙂