Beauty of PHOBIAS
Before I left on my “Road Trip Too,” I happen to read my friend Charlene’s blog Hello Inner Beauty Meet Outer Beauty. In it, Charleen wrote that the beginning of August was a good time to “Explore your world!” and “Whatever Exploration you find yourself in IS your Blessed Change!”
“Good thing,” I thought “I am right on schedule. I’m about to go on vacation.”
Now that I’m back, I figured out what that meant. So I thought I’d share with you the Beauty of PHOBIAS.
Imagine you are 5 and can’t swim. You are so excited to be in an Olympic size pool where the shallow end is 3 ft. This means when you touch the ground your head is below water level. You love water as long as you are in control and the only way to stay in control is to hold onto the edge.
Suddenly you get this crazy idea to try a somersault. You tell yourself, you’ll only let go for a second and you are sure you will come right back. So you let go and you go tumbling into free-fall. As you twirl, you watch the pretty white bubbles go past your eyes. You reach for the edge and safety–but it is not there. You realize you need air, you breath and your lungs are filled with water. Muscles tense up, your heart is racing, you flinging your arms and legs everywhere, you go into panic, you are out of control………..
Then the miracle happens. Arms grab you and two life guards bring you to the surface. The drowning is over. But the memory remains in your body, to manifest as a phobia.
That is my love and fear story of water.
Now fast forward to last Thursday, August 8th, I’m river rafting with a guide, a family of 4, my two almost grown sons and husband. Our red raft is quickly heading towards a big class 3 rapid. We go smashing into the side of a large rock wall, as planned but the unexpected happens….. We capsize.
The white water bubbles go quickly past my eyes, I come up for air and find myself under a claustrophobic red raft. My muscles tense up, my heart races with panic, but this time I’m in control. Our guide told us how to react if we end up wearing “the RED SOMBRERO.”
We were told, rule one, DON’T STAND UP, float on your back, be sure to breathe, crawl along under the raft until you reach the end and don’t worry because you will find the edge and safety.
I’m very happy to say their advice worked. Eventually, we were all fished out of the river and quickly headed toward an incredible class 4 rapid. This one was absolutely scary, it was like coming to the edge of a waterfall and looking down at 6 ft + straight drop into the water below. It was a total blast!:)
I still have my water phobia, but the Beauty of a PHOBIA is it really makes you feel everything in your body. It challenges you to look at your fear or not. It allows you the opportunity to discover how strong you really are.
I used to wish that I had never almost drowned when I was 5, but I’m okay with it now. And I guess I’m just going to have to remember what my guide said, don’t worry, if you just keep reaching you’ll get to the other side.:)