Sink or Swim


Terrified is a strong word. There are many things I might be anxious about in a given period of time but terrified? 

When I was younger I was terrified of swimming. I didn’t want to learn how to swim, see the need to swim, want anything to do with swimming. My parents, however, understood learning to swim, especially for a boy living in a coastal state, was important. So, they made me take swimming lessons.

Getting in the pool wasn’t a problem, getting wet not an issue, pushing my head under the surface didn’t seem to bother me. The terror came when I couldn’t touch the bottom of the pool without my head also being submerged.

As we progressed through the class I did okay until it was time to jump in the deep end. No matter how much the swimming instructor assured me she would not let me drown I didn’t trust her. I stood on the edge of the pool trying to decide whether to jump in or run back to the locker room. Finally, after much coaxing, pleading and possibly some bribing I jumped in the water…to be more accurate I jumped on the swimming instructor! If I was going down she was going down with me. She didn’t let me drown and I learned how to swim.

When we, or someone we care for, are terrified it’s hard to move past the fear. No matter the assurance we give or receive from others sooner or later the decision has to be made to jump in or run away. What we need, what we must be willing to be, is someone who will sink or swim when the decision is made to take the plunge!



About is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Essentialist, contemplative, author, advocate, old soul

Posted on January 29, 2014, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Glibly saying, “Fear not, trust the Lord,” is the stock advice for the fearful, but I know fear; I’m phobic of confrontation. I’ve kept my petition before the Lord for years, but he hasn’t taken it away. Actually, I’m fine with that answer to prayer, even though I totally do not enjoy my fear. If fearlessness were the best path for me, I’d be fearless. I trust my Savior’s love far more than I fear my fear.


  2. I still get nervous in the deep end though in both situations.


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