I was at the beach a couple of weeks ago. When I swam I stayed in the shallows.
Every now and again, I’d spot a small fish or some sea shells.
It was pleasant enough. But after a while I got bored. Seriously, one can only body surf for so much.
When I’m at the sea, I always want swim deeper and further out. I never do. The bottom line is that I’m scared. I’m not a great swimmer and I’ve seen Jaws.
This means when it comes to the sea, I’ll pretty much always wallow in the shallows and never venture out to unknown adventure.
I worry that I conduct my life the same way.
I stay in the shallow, safe and superficial world. This limits my experience to the house I live in, the neighbourhood I stay in, the stores I shop at and the people I hang out with.
I strive for things that I can see – houses, cars, food and friends.
If I had the courage to don a wet suit and scuba tank, I could go deeper into the sea and discover the many beautiful and astounding creatures that are hidden from me.
I could have a fuller and richer experience.
I know the same is true for me when I go deeper into myself. When I try and connect with my soul my experiences are more fulfilling.
But, if I go too deep, I get scared of what I might find. I’m scared that the demons and angels will give me the answers I seek so that I actually have to man up and do the work in front of me. That, of course is getting to my final destination in good shape through the experiences of now.
I’m not brave enough to take charge and be really happy. I then leave the depths and come back to the shallows where I feel safe. Where I think I have some semblance of control.
But the shallows are a deceptively dangerous place to be. A shark can take me in a couple of feet of water, blue bottles can sting me and shells can cut me.
The same goes for thinking that I can remain a surface dweller, safe and sound in a world that’s familiar to me.
Dangers lurk there too. You know it and I know it.
There are risks associated with both staying in the shallows and going deep.
Staying in the shallows stops me from having a rich, full experience of this gift that I have been given … life.
Going inward and deeper has the potential to free me to become a creature of grace and gratitude.
But, it’s hard to be free because I’m used to being a slave. I’m used to pandering to the whims of my many masters so that they can feed me the scraps from the table.
It’s the safer option … being a slave. The harder option is being free but potentially starving to death.
But, what if I’m free and I thrive? What would that mean?
I have faith that if I go deep and set myself free, there’s no way I’ll starve. I’ll have abundance and way more than is my due.
Let’s go swim, you and I. Let’s go deep.