Saturday, September 3, 2011

Almost Drowning

   A lot of conversation has come up recently on my facebook page, and subsequently, in phone calls, about my fear of water. Yes, I am afraid of water. Why? Because I've almost drown way, way, way too many times. Not that almost drowning once or twice isn't bad enough, but I just want to be sure you get the point. But this post isn't about my fear of water, not really. It's more about what we do with our fears. I have worked long and hard to lessen the power of my fear of water, to lower it's energies or hold on me. For instance, I can now get some water on my face in the shower without collapsing in sheer panic. And I can actually trust my husband to be around me when I'm in water (sometimes I can even manage to turn my back toward him for brief periods of time). I'm sure that doesn't sound like a big feat, but to me personally, it is...
   And yet, my kids didn't know I was afraid of water. They've seen me on the slip n slide (not knowing that this is only the second summer I've been able to do that, or that I have to force myself to ignore the pounding in my chest and the urge to hold my breath and run the other way). They've seen me get sprayed by the water squirters (not seeing how rapidly I wipe the water off my face and try to maintain a little composure). They've seen my splash and play in rain puddles (not realizing that I keep my face tightly shielded from the water)...
   So, it was a few days ago at my mom's house, while I was discussing all the recent discussions on facebook with my mom, that Zoko piped up with, "Mom, I didn't know you were afraid of water." And I told her that yes, I am (terrified would be more appropriate, but I'm trying not to be overly emotional on this one). She asked me why I'm afraid of water, and I told her it's because I've almost drowned so many times. To which she replied, "I hope I only drown a few times". My mom and I laughed lightly and reminded her that if you actually drown, you can only do that once anyway, and that we hope she doesn't drown at all. So she rephrases, "I mean, I hope I only almost drown two or three times"...
   Concerned, my mom quickly intervened and said that she should hope to never almost drown at all. To which my daughter quietly replied to me, "But mom, I'm trying to do that never saying something thing." Or something to that effect, being absolute jibberish to anyone who hasn't been around a philosophical 7-year-old in a while... And what exactly did she mean, sincerely stating that she hopes to almost drown a few times rather than never? Energy. It all comes back to energy. My daughter very muchly believes that if you make up your mind to "never" or "not" do something, then you put so much focus or energy into not doing it that, consequently, you end up doing it instead.
   So, if she says she hopes she "never almost drowns", then she would focus so much on not almost drowning that she would end up creating that very experience she is hoping to prevent. But, by saying that she hopes she "almost drowns a few times", she is releasing the energy that could be turned into fear, acknowledging what could at some point happen, and allowing the universe to take its own course instead of trying to alter it.
   As soon as I explained her meaning to my mom, my mom's attitude changed from concern to pride, and she let Zoko know how proud she was. Later, my mom was attending a church book club on "The Fifth Agreement", and she used the experience with Zoko to illustrate a point during part of a discussion.
   I am well aware that most people probably don't understand the significance to her logic, or would consider that line of thinking to be dangerous for a child. But these are her thoughts. This is part of who she is. And I respect her very much for that.
   I have encouraged her to be an independent thinker, and to be aware of the consequences (good and bad) of her thoughts as well as her actions. I have tought her that I believe our thoughts are projected into the universe, and that negitivity breeds and evolves and gets rapidly out of control. But she connects the dots and draws the lines and decides what she's going to say and do. And she has always made me proud. For even when we don't agree, I can always see her point of view and understand why she is making the decisions that she is. Watching her evolve helps me become a better person, and for that I will always be grateful.

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