When thrust into any situation over our heads, our reflex is to fight with all our might the terrible feeling that we are sinking instead of trusting the flow of life to keep us afloat. Yet the more we resist, the more we feel our own weight and wear ourselves out.
Six years ago today, I was thrown into the river of life and didn’t trust the deep. No matter how many reassuring voices I heard from the shore, I strained and fought to keep my chin above the surface. Grief and fear and the struggle between doubt and faith exhausted me. But it was only when I was too exhausted to struggle one more moment that I finally learned to relax enough to feel the cradle of the deep keep me afloat. There is something timeless and indestructible within each of us that can heal us and the world if we just relax enough to trust and open ourselves to it.
Often when our lives are being transformed, we cannot tell what is happening or if anything is happening at all. Minutes, hours, days and years pass and we wonder if our faith and trust has gotten us anywhere. For while in the midst of staying afloat, it is next to impossible to glimpse the river we are being carried by and to determine where we are going to land. While in the pain of change and transformation, it is hard to see the new self we are becoming, the new life that we are creating.
As I have little by little allowed the water of the river to rinse my heart and trust it to keep me afloat each day for the last six years, I have felt something unseeable flow through me. Something lighten the heaviness of Scott’s death and the resistance of being forced into a new life I could not see or imagine or trust on that first day I was thrown into the water when the weight of grief and fear was so great I thought it would drown me.
I have mercifully felt my clenched hands and tightly crossed arms gently yet firmly pried loose, not sure of what would fill them once opened but willing to trust that in keeping them outstretched and my gaze up toward the open sky, I would stay buoyant.
I have learned that the essence of trust is believing I will be held up if I let go and that like the force of the water that rushes through the riverbed, all the deepest parts of my old life that mattered have already shaped me. I do not need to cling to them, I can let them go.
Day by day, I have been made lighter by merging with the Oneness of All where life and death flow together and where I am returned to the feel of being new again.