Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rocking the Boat

What a wonderful weekend.  I have so much to share I need to break my posts up, I’ll start with my exciting Friday night.  I’m heading to the Boundary Waters this summer with 8 other fabulous ladies.  This has been on my bucket list and part of my goal to try new things.  At first I didn’t put two and two together realizing that Boundary Waters means canoeing.   Rough camping I can do, rough camping I’m a rock star at.  Canoeing . . . . . total different story.  To be honest, I’ve never really been canoeing, that was until Friday night. 

Canoeing strikes a deep fear deep within my soul, a fear I really want to get over.  It’s a fear I have been unable to understand and rationalize.  My dear friend Heather, whom I can be 100% myself with, took me out canoeing in a “safe” environment on Friday.  While I knew logically I was safe, I was with Heather, I had a life jacket on, I know how to swim, the water wasn’t all that deep, I was TERRIFIED.  Terrified as in I wanted to cry, scream and run away.  I was trying to figure out how I would back out of the trip because I didn’t think there was any way I could get in the darn canoe and live to tell about it.  Heather is so patient and kind, she let me take me time getting in the canoe, helped talk me through my fears.  It was hard because my fears are in no way logical.  I was able to pinpoint my fear to the rocking of the boat.  Once I was out on the water paddling and the boat was calm, I was calm.  At the slightest rock of the boat, I would tense up and panic would set it.  There was a point where we were in 2 inches of water and yet it scared the crap out of me when the boat rocked.  It just didn’t make sense to me why I was feeling so overwhelmed by the rocking of the boat even if I was “safe”.  When the boat rocked, I would become scared, the more scared I became, the more the boat rocked, I became more scared, the boat rocked more, you get the picture.  If I calmed down and took a deep breath, the boat would calm, I would calm, etc. After we had a successful first trip out, I felt a wave of relief and joy come over me.   While I’m still scared, I know I can overcome the fear and go on the trip.

Today on my way to work, I thought about it and realized that’s when I have anxiety in my life.  Suddenly it became so clear and powerful where my fear from the canoe comes from.  At times in life, metaphorically the boat rocks, I know logically that God is there with me, I can have my life jacket on (my tools and resources), I can know how to cope, the water may or may not be deep (big or small problem), but it scares me none the less.  During counseling I’ve learned my core issues to be trust, fear and control.  These issues are deeply rooted within me.    The actual reaction I had on Friday is the same reaction I have when the boat rocks in my life (little or small).  This is why I’m having such a strong reaction to canoeing.   I unlocked the connection and it feels empowering.  I’m so determined to learn to cope, to trust, because I want to live life to the fullest.  The Bible story of Peter during the storm and walking on water is so fitting here.  I will trust God, I will learn to use my resources, I will do this in shallow and deep water and I’ll take a deep breath when the boat rocks realizing that I am indeed “safe”.

Unstoppable “Boat rock’n” Mariah

1 comment:

  1. I have some irrational fears too like rodents. I literally tense up and am unable to function. Once a mouse appeared in my old apartment and I was bawling my eyes out and had to sleep at friends house for the night. My boyfriend was out of town and he thought i was being ridiculous because the mouse was probably more scared of me ...

    Good job attempting to overcome your fear.