Friday, June 12, 2009

Deep Sea Dreaming

(Pre-Script: This post's best swim mate is the song,"Bring Me To Life," #37 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

In my dreams, I am an unwilling unprepared deep sea diver who is always uncomfortably too close to the tidal wave that is about to pummel me then drag me out to the deepest depths of the ocean. In my dreams, this is terrifying. Usually the sky is dark gray, the vibe is stormy, the idea being "Get as far inland as you possibly can as quickly as you can." But in my dreams, I cannot. The waves are high and fast, but I cannot will myself to any sort of safe distance away from them. In my dreams, this terror represents so many, many possibilities. I have never actually been pummeled in these dreams, just the threat in them is always very close and real, and I have not been able to escape.

I tell you the truth: A sure way to dispel fear is to let yourself be completely embraced in the knowledge of God's love. To be completely embraced in love, one can feel every feeling that has been camped and hiding out in her heart. Her heart might be an ocean in which she fears drowning, but when little by little she learns to sit in the feelings there in, the feeling works itself out, much like a storm in the ocean; the waves recede, the sky clears, the sun emerges, The water warms. It doesn't always work out as fast or as comfortably as I would have hoped, and I find myself screaming at God, "You said you would meet me here, so where are you? I can't go anywhere else. I am clinging to you to hold me here and keep me from going under. I am counting on you to pull me out and help me breathe. I am counting on you and putting all of my weight on you, because the other option is only just drowning, and I am not brave enough for that."

Just the other night, I had another sea dream. In this one, the sun was shining, even though it was almost nighttime, the tide was calm, and I was standing on the edge of it's vastness, but I felt no fear; I was there on purpose, not because I could not run away, but because I was looking for treasure only to be found there; sea glass, and broken pieces of ancient pottery that had been buried there for centuries. The next morning, I knew that the water was going to recede, all the way to the very center of the sea, and I would have all day to explore as far out as that. The deeper I would be willing to explore, the greater my chance of ever finding the most beautiful, rare, and large pieces of sea glass and archaeological broken pottery. I knew I was going to go as far as I could. There was no fear. There was no anxiety. Just the knowledge that I was deeply loved, and safe.

What if what I had feared finding so long was really something beautiful, the most beautiful treasure I could never have imagined for myself in the first place? How many people live right there, stuck on the edge, unable to move, frozen in fear from the threat of waves which would carry them out to deep places inside they fear will overwhelm and kill? What if what you fear the most turns out to be your greatest adventure, your greatest treasure, your greatest potential for beauty?
After the storm is when the shore is littered with treasure, when the sea gives up it's best kept secrets.
I am no longer afraid of the ocean inside of me. My dreams have
been reminding me of just that.


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