This week's story comes from Betsy. When I met Betsy I saw a woman who was brave, positive and full of life. I had no idea that her greatest fear was being in water. The ultimate heart-pounding terror to her was jumping into a lake or the ocean and being fully submerged. This fear had held her back from fully enjoying so many things, particularly in the summer time. However, this year Betsy made a choice to no longer let this limit her, and in one spontaneous and brave move, she changed her life forever. Read on for the story in her own words, which I especially enjoy because of the spiritual take she has on the whole experience:
Ever since I was a kid I've had an overwhelming fear of being in water. I have no rational explanation for this. Nothing ever happened that would have given me this crippling anxiety every time I imagined being in a lake or the ocean. I did, however, have an experience of past life regression that told me the answer to this went much deeper than what I could see in the here and now. Several weeks ago, while in meditation, I saw myself on an old fashion sailing ship, like an 18th century schooner. In this vision I was a free spirit, just as I am today. But I knew from that vision that in this past life I had drowned at sea.
I was intrigued by this inner vision but left it at that. I'm not normally a fearful person, as my love for owning and driving Harleys will attest to. But being afraid of water, especially being fully submerged, seemed like something too big to ever change. It was a part of my life and most people knew how I felt. So when my friend called about going boating on the lake on Labor Day I happily accepted. I was just going to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and being with a good friend. I had zero intentions of jumping in the water.
We went out on the water and my friend drove around, giving me a tour of the lake. I enjoyed being out on the water, but I still had no intentions of going in it. Eventually she stopped driving and asked me if I wanted to jump in.
I wouldn't even consider it. I couldn't do it.
We went back to the cottage and relaxed for awhile, but something lingered inside me. A feeling of now or never. My friend wanted to water ski so I went back out with her. At this point I knew for sure, the feeling was coursing through my body: it's now or never.
Standing on the side of the boat and looking down into the blackness was like literally looking in the unknown. The fear was intense and all consuming. I could be jumping into anything! I had no idea what was down there or how deep this water was. I was so terrified I kept trying to talk myself out of it, and every second I stared down in the water I wanted to back away, to go back to the safety of the boat's seats. With this fear though was the hint of something else. Something I couldn't ignore. A little voice inside me was whispering that if I didn't do this, I would be very disappointed in myself. At this point the fear was overwhelming.
Looking out over the huge expanse of the lake and the dark abyss that awaited sped my heart rate up further and further. What was I doing? If I jumped I'd never come back up! I'd be lost in that endless pit forever.
In an instant, I plunged in. It was like a dream, so surreal and so startling. It felt as if I was falling falling falling. I don't know how far I went but it felt like 15 feet. All I could think was, "Get to the surface for air!" I popped up and yelled, "I'm so fucking scared, oh my god!"
With my head above water I immediately headed for shore. The whole way I was mumbling, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god." When I could finally touch the ground I thought my fear would subside a little, but it didn't. It wasn't until the water was at my knees that the fear started to turn to excitement. I was so amped, and I kept saying, "I did it! I jumped!" I felt like a million bucks. My heart was still pounding in my chest.
The rest of the day I was buzzing with this energy of excitement. In spite of this, I also felt very tired.
My friend has offered to take me out again, which I'm so grateful for. Another friend has offered to take me out on the ocean, which is my ultimate fear. If we can make that happen, I will jump in the water. I know this will terrify me on a whole different level, I mean real terror, but I already have the feeling inside me, the knowing, that I can do this.
This jump into the cool lake water felt like a personal baptism. It renewed my faith that I'm on the right path for my enlightenment. I felt different after, but in a way I can't really explain. I grew from this experience. I felt more confident from this, more in tune with my own personal power. In fact, I was so encouraged after this I later went out on a jet ski! I felt so free, and there is such a feeling of enjoyment when it really feels like you've earned something.
Now that this is done I get to do the fun task of replacing this with something new on my bucket list. I'm not sure what yet. In the photo of the water here I'm actually under there, fully immersed. Words really can't describe what I was feeling.
I've also found this experience has really helped me in my Reiki business. I have been working on healing past life traumas and karma with my clients. I can tell my abilities have grown stronger. I believe it's because I finally worked through and healed my own past life and that traumatic ending. I found a peace with that, and all energies you take on can be shared with others. To have that inner-resolution and be able to share it with my clients really brings me joy.
For other posts in the Overcoming Obstacles series click here.
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