Finding the Gift in Change in Your Life
Summer in Phoenix has arrived.
That makes me happy.
My best childhood memories happened during the summertime in Bagdad, Arizona. School was out, the days were long, and life was worry-free.
For me, that meant lazy mornings in bed, water balloon fights in my backyard, watching 4th of July fireworks from our front yard and hanging out at the swimming pool every afternoon from the minute it opened until the minute it closed.
Now, as an adult living in Phoenix, summer means riding my bike towards the Arizona sunrise before 6 a.m. each morning, playing in the sprinkler with my three year old, watching the Indian Steele Park fireworks from our backyard on July 4th and… going swimming!
I love to swim.
But…I don’t know how to swim that well at all.
Yes. I did take swimming lessons when I was a tiny tot. Today, I can dive, hold my breath underwater and dog paddle. But, if I were ever faced with a truly life-threatening situation in the water…
I would drown.
Because of this fact, I am adamant that my daughter must learn how to swim and do it well.
Yesterday evening, my husband and I took her to her first City of Phoenix swimming lesson of the summer.
It sucked. Big time.
Paloma screamed bloody murder from the second the lesson started until the second it ended. She wasn’t the only one; 5 out of the 7 kids in her group were shrieking, too. (As an aside, my husband and I think the lifeguards assigned to Paloma’s “Whitestar” swimming group must’ve lost some sort of bet to be forced to endure 40 minutes worth of crazed toddlers flailing around, gasping for air and howling for help.)
Anyway…my sweet Paloma was traumatized. This killed me. Five minutes into the lesson, I started crying, too. Even though caregivers were forbidden from being in the water with their kid, I couldn’t stand seeing Paloma in distress, so I jumped in with her. TEN minutes in the lesson, my angry husband came over and nearly got into a tug of war battle with me, trying to pull Paloma out because what we were “doing” was “torture.”
It was a scene. I thought it would never end. I’m sure poor Paloma felt the same.
Just like swimming lessons, new situations can really suck.
Just like swimming lessons, new situations can change your life.
You can’t change the fact that things in your life are going to change. What you can change, however, is the meaning you give to that change (after you go through the initial meltdown, freak-out attack or whatever it is you need to do). There is a gift in change…you just have to be open to seeing it.
Did you lose your job?
That IS scary. It is also an opportunity for you to manifest a newer, better job…a job in line with your real passion…the job of your dreams.
Are you heartbroken because the youngest of your kids is off to college, leaving you with an empty nest?
You will be sad, yes. You will also have more time on your hands to re-discover your interests, hobbies and friends! That is exciting.
Did your lover leave you?
It is devastating…I understand, and I’m sorry. This is an opportunity for you to learn there is only one person responsible for your happiness and fulfillment…you.
Sometimes finding the “good” in things that feel “bad” is really hard. In your case, it might be months, or even years, before you can shift your perspective to do that. Cultivating the ability to take a difficult situation and redefine it will do it two things (at least) for you: (1) It will give you more peace in your heart and (2) it will increase your confidence that you can meet the next challenge when it arrives.
Last night I slept horribly because of bad dreams that my Paloma was lost and hurting inside. I am pretty sure these dreams came as a direct result of yesterday’s swimming trauma. As I write this, even I am feeling apprehensive about putting her through the same thing over again today. I can’t imagine her fear when we tell her it’s time to go…
Today, I will be focusing on the “good” that is going to come out of this experience. It might take some time to get there, but I just know that Paloma is going to to get the point where she is comfortable not clinging to me for dear life during her lessons. I also know that someday, she is going to feel totally confident and at ease in the water. I can’t wait to see her jumping off the diving board, doing a breaststroke across the length of a pool and playing the water games I used to play…
Before we get there, though-
Today, I will tell her to bravely stand on the edge…
…and jump right back in again.
The same goes for you, my friend.
Learn to swim.
Find the gift in change in your life.
Sending you my wishes for a week in which you meet change with strength you didn’t even realize you had.
All my best,