“She swims like a fish!” I heard people say this about me so many times when I was growing up. I have always loved to swim and even worked as a lifeguard for a while. So many people are scared of the water, but I just relax and enjoy it. To swim well, you must be able to relax in the water. If you panic, you will die. This is one of the most important life lessons I have ever learned. We have to keep our emotions in check if we want to live.
Every good swimmer knows how to float. It is the first lesson you have to learn when you begin swimming. If you can’t float, you can’t swim. Floating is just learning to relax in the water. If you can learn to relax in the water, you won’t drown. If I were in a boat that went down in the ocean, I could float around for hours and hours and be just fine until I came to a shore or someone found me. If I got tensed up and scared, I wouldn’t be able to float, and I would sink and die. The key is not panicking. This works in every area of our lives.
When you drive a car, relax. If you get all upset about when you are going to get there, if you are angry when you get in the car, if the other cars are bothering you, you are tensed up, and more likely to have a car wreck. If the phone rings, don’t think it is an emergency and must be answered right then because the minute you do, you could get in a wreck. Control that urge to answer the phone, find a place to pull of, and then answer your phone. Keeping our emotions under check can make a difference between life and death.
If you are in a relationship with someone else, and you get upset about every little thing, if you are afraid they will not like the way you keep the house or comb your hair, you will be tensed up. If they do things that bother you, and you end up yelling, you could lose them. If you are afraid they will like someone else better than you, you will make mistakes. Just relax. Panicking will destroy the relationship. If they like you, they like you. If they don’t, they don’t.
Once, I missed a plane. I was all alone in a foreign country, and I just burst in to tears in confusion and panic. No one cared. If I just sat there crying and didn’t learn to relax and think my problem through to solve it, I would have turned into a street person in the airport of a foreign country.
Even with our health, at times, all it takes to feel well is to go take a nap. We have to learn to relax. If we run around like a chicken with our head cut off, we will make ourselves sick. When I was in college and had deadlines on my papers, it bothered me so much it gave me nightmares. I needed to just do my papers and stop getting my emotions involved so I could sleep at night.
In every aspect of our lives, we need to learn to float. We need to learn to not let our emotions get the best of us and think things through calmly. We need to love and be loved, forgive and be forgiven. If we don’t want to drown in our lives, we need to stop panicking and take it one step at a time.