The first day I became a parent was the first day I subconsciously gave myself boundaries. Boundaries that kept me and my little family safe. Boundaries that kept me from danger, that wound me up a little too tight, that left me more fragile than ever. I found myself protective, worried, easily offended, concerned about the future and if what I was doing for the sweet ones I held tightly in my arms, even mattered… feeling so safe in the in the shallow end that I often felt like I was drowning. I didn’t know it, but I was afraid. Afraid of so many unknowns that I felt I needed to know.
Seven years later, as I sit here still – looking at my little gals run around, imagine, question, learn, love, laugh, and fight hard – I feel resilient, proud, successful, pure joy, big love… but I am still tethered to a fear that only a mother can hold onto. A fear that makes waves in my heart and rip-tides in my gut. A fear of the unknown future in a time when so much change has recently happened – from a pandemic that continues to quietly swirl around us, to a time of serious protest and injustice where valuable voices are being blurred behind destruction, but most importantly – finally heard with intention.
This world is an ocean – 71% to be exact – and our islands are not always safe havens. I often find myself sitting at the oceans’s bottom, holding my breathe – watching sharks fight, jelly fish float, dolphins dance and whales make waves. It’s a beautiful (and unnerving) feeling to take it all in, but I can’t hold my breathe that long. Resurfacing is a release. Coming up for air is necessary, pulling me away from the discomfort that I found some sort of peace in. We all need to remind ourselves to come up for air but to also remember that when we Dive into the D e e p, we are not alone. When we sink into the dark sea, we are strong and valuable. We are surrounded by a beautiful chaos that needs us – a vast ocean filled with unknowns and fear. Filled with life and change.
So as I resurface, I write. I write to release fear little by little – while dipping my toes in the water and staring into the abyss, knowing full well that I will retreat again… not entirely sure I will have enough oxygen.
I’m happy to reveal, that my motherly boundaries have loosened a little bit, while I continue to challenge myself to face and embrace even the smallest of fears. The fears that surround us as we seek peace in the D e e p. I’ve slowly felt introversion take over my past extrovert and I’m surprisingly OK with this. Ambivert, I am. I would compare this realization to (since I’m all about analogies) peeling off a diving suit – a thick, neoprene, restrictive diving suit. Confident and daring while wearing it, but clearly confined.
Have you ever thought about casting a net before diving in? Working hard to remove the danger before you make the jump? It’s impossible. So much lurks and blends in, deception hides and reveals it’s self at your weak moments. So, if these fears are unavoidable how do we let life in – unfiltered, no net… without getting hurt, without experiencing deep pain? The answer is, we don’t. We don’t do it without a piercing of the heart, a tear in our soul, a wound, a scar, a revelation – a reminder that we are human and diving in the D e e p is a risk we all take at our own time. So, don’t waste your time with a net because you can’t control what will seep out.
When I dive into the D e e p, I am now challenging myself to take in the beauty of it’s symbiotic chaos, the circle of life, the unexpected change and know it’s OK.