So, we brought our possessions with us to the beach, surely someone in our family would watch our possessions and keep them safe. Would someone watch us as we started our journey, someone who was not going to take the plunge? We walked down the long winding path from bath house to sea shore. We could see people ahead who seemed ok, they were not panicked, they were not weeping, they were not running away. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. Maybe we worried for nothing? Then we got to the beach and there was a rope leading out to the water. Why? we thought, we have been swimming before. You run to the water, you dive right in. Sometimes it’s cold, sometimes you stumble, sometimes your path is smooth. But this was different. Others who looked better equipped than us were slipping and falling, and others could not get started. Why did I push so hard to get here? It was too late, you couldn’t disappoint your family, you had to join the others, your pride made you push on.
Now you were beginning to see. The mud under your feet was slippery, the ground was uneven, the waves were pushing you back to shore. I stepped on a sharp rock, I was not ready at all! Maybe I should have stayed on the bus. Then someone who had crossed the threshold and experienced the joy of success reached their goal ahead of me and called out, “Hold the rope, sit down, relax and float on your back!” You reluctantly listened to this experienced sage. Maybe the lessons that you have been taught were correct. Let go, trust yourself. Hey, I’m floating, I can’t sink. I slowly paddled on my back to the deep water. Can I touch the bottom? No, but this is fun, different than I expected, but better. As we relaxed and floated, soon our friends joined us in the deep water. Occasionally one of us tried to turn over and struggle against the buoyant water. I admit, so did I, but to no avail. Then we saw other friends on the shore, struggling, slipping, falling. We shouted advice, like the people before us had shouted to us, “Sit down, don’t struggle, float on your back!” Now we were the experts!