I am not the biggest fan of submerging myself in water. Showers are relaxing, baths not so much. I don’t like swimming, although I swim fine and used to be very good at it. I enjoy being on top of the waiter: sailing, canoeing, kayaking, even ice skating. Just… not in it. Okay, it might be fair to say I hate swimming and hate cold water even more as it tends to make me incapable of anything except hyperventilation (yay for the cold shock response.)
So, of course I threw myself in the Atlantic Ocean in early October.
I had been grumping about it for a while. I had considered putting it off until spring because of comfort, because I simply didn’t really want to. And also, because I didn’t have to. No one, human or Spirit, was making me.
Right before I walked into the waves and eventually dunked myself under, I asked the Ocean Lord if I had to do it. He said no, I didn’t have to. I asked Him what if I waited until spring. He said then the Work will wait. I asked Him what if I only went in part way. He said then less will be done.
There was no judgement for my reluctance. There was no “or else” and it did not seem that He would be disappointed if I didn’t manage to dunk myself in the cold waves. It was my choice.
I don’t always know how to handle the lack of pressure from Them. Forgiveness and kindness are too often harder for me to handle than high expectations with disappointment and punishment for not meeting them. Maybe the disappointment has already happened. But that’s never the message I get, instead it’s repeatedly “They have your back.” Security, kindness, assistance… it’s a lot harder for me to grasp than well… anything else.
Years of depression, ADHD, anxiety, and PTSD left me with a lot of messages. “Biggest waste of potential [they knew].” “You would have been brilliant…” Messages of never enough, of being lesser. Blamed as incompetent and lazy, shamed for not living up to another’s expectations, and guilted for not punishing myself more. Knowing those messages were wrong is a great step, but unpacking the damage left behind is a work in progress.
Getting the message from the Ocean Lord that it wasn’t procrastination to wait was strange for me, bordering on alien. That not doing it meant simply things would go a different way, or thing would wait. That it was okay to wait. Another message I get a lot is that things will come in time and I need to be more patient.
It was okay to wait, He said I didn’t have to at all if that was my choice. So, I chose to do it then. I chose to gear myself up, walk out into the cold water, and dunk myself under.
The work could wait, but I was tired of waiting. The waiting came from me, I had been grumping about it for weeks before actually going to the beach. But with a smack upside the head, and some divination pointing towards the good outcome of doing it… I went in.
The ocean is massive. That day with the wind, clouds, high waves, and cold I saw another face of the Ocean Lord. I came out cold, wet, sandy, and with a rock. And things have been moving ever since.
It was a good day, a tiring day, and I still do not do well in cold water.