Whether you sink or swim comes down to one thing…

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Sometimes life seems impossibly tender. It seems easy to forget how vulnerable I am and then suddenly there it is.

A flood of sadness or fear or shame and, for a moment I forget if I know how to swim.

Thrashing about is exhausting. I did that for years. As if my little waving arms and feet could make the flood recede. But all I did was tire myself out.

It turns out I do know how to swim. We all do I think. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t remember when I gently wade into the flood water with them and invite them to see what happens if they turn the thrashing into feeling.

Feeling. That’s what swimming is about. Feeling the water rather than fighting the water. From the tips of our toes to the small of our backs to the points of our chins.

When we feel the water we can swim. We drown when we fight it.

So today I feel the tenderness and the ache of living in this world. I notice the temptation to thrash and then I remember I can swim. I feel the sensations of sadness and fear and I let go of worrying about how they came to be or what I need to do to get rid of them.

And peace is here once more. Alongside and underneath and all around the flood of emotions. Small things matter again and I am grateful.

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