Monday, August 29, 2011

Swimming in the deep end

It would be safe to consider myself a swimmer.  Not of any competitive caliber, and expecting to win, but a strong, adequately able swimmer.  I can be away from a pool / lake / other body of water for years but once back in it's like I never left.  I've never felt intimidated by water, never feared it or felt like it would ultimately be the end of me.  On the contrary, it's quite like a cocoon.   A safe, warm place where I have fond memories of both solo adventures and time spent with family & friends.

Although I haven't been swimming lately, save for one trip for some laps a couple weeks ago, I feel like I've spent a good amount time mimicking that environment in my mind.  In the water, alone, I set the mood and the deeper I get, the further away from any source of light, the more it seems I may just not need the light.  The dark is comforting and tempting ... "stay here, don't fight it, you need nothing else."  Why would I leave and have other forces try to impress the light upon me?  I control this, I need no one else, I'm better off in the dark and so I dive deeper.   Deeper still.

I'm not used to a world of just dark, it's not where I reside most of the time and while comforting, it still scares me.   And so I welcome those beacons in the back of my mind making themselves known, "just how deep is this pool?" And then I immediately come up for a breath, a deep full breath.

I've been living in fear for the last several months, my father's diagnosis has left a large mark on my day-to-day and trying to move on with life, as he has, seems impossible to me most of the time.  My mind cannot focus and most activities have been deprioritized; among them being all of those things that would normally challenge me out of a dark mood, running being highest on that list.  I find it no coincidence that I recently came across this passage, without outwardly looking for it.

Today if you feel limited by your fear, remember: You can assume the worst and allow that to keep you paralyzed, or you can decide to stop wasting your energy analyzing evidence, and focus instead of creating possibilities.