It was a very hot day, and I had been walking for what must have been miles. My feet hurt, my muscles ached.
I had already decided I wanted to try wild water swimming as soon as I signed up for the Wilderness Festival. And now the timing seemed perfect!
I walked to the bank of the green lake, and suddenly felt trepidation as I stepped in to the water. My feet feeling their way around the slippery rocks. As I took the final plunge, nothing could have prepared me for how cold the water was! I started swimming out to the middle of the lake to get warm again, and suddenly I felt quite nervous.
Not a particularly confident swimmer, I suddenly realised that there were no safety features. No handrails or edge to hold on to in case I got tired. No emergency life-floats along the banks. And very quickly I realised that there was no part of the lake, except where I had climbed in, where my feet touched the bottom.
Although the lake was very clean, the number of swimmers had turned the water silty and I couldn’t see the bottom of the lake either. I had no idea what else was in the lake with me. Crayfish? Trout? And then someone nearby said “wow – can you see that huge fish?”. At first I thought they were just teasing, until I heard another group of people swimming in the lake marvel at the size of the “huge fish” too. I couldn’t see it anywhere. Perhaps the glimpse of a dark shadow about two metres away from me……? I felt fear – of the unknown depths of the lake and all it contained that I couldn’t see or feel or touch. I couldn’t control anything except myself.
So, feeling tired from the exertion, I decided to lay on my back and float for a while. As it was late afternoon, the sun was low in the sky, and it had cast a long, golden path across the surface of the lake, which I noticed sparkled like an emerald. I was lying directly in the golden path of the sun and was bathing in its radiant light, feeling warm and refreshed and cool all at the same time. My aching muscles floated on the water, my body weightless. And then I completely relaxed. In that moment I went from fear of the unknown depths of the lake, to feeling completely secure and held.
After I had swum to the shore, I thought about how I had overcome my initial fears and how it had been more than worth it.
Relationships can be like that. You can hold back for fear of the unknown. Realising you are unable to completely control the outcome, or always see the hidden depths in your partner, you might not “go all-in” and allow yourself to be vulnerable, “just in case”. But think about what you could be missing out on by holding back.
You might feel that you have good reasons for holding back. Perhaps you have been hurt before, or had you trust broken? Perhaps you fear you will not be able to be your true, authentic self with your partner in case they see your hidden depths?
Of course, there are no safety features, and you can sometimes feel exhausted and out of your depth. But you can control your own self within the unknown environment. You can decide how you will act in those circumstances. And you can make the choice to either hold back, or get out of your own way and fully immerse yourself in the experience.
And with that comes a degree of risk.
But don’t a lot of things that prove to be worthwhile involve an element of risk?
If you do decide to really apply yourself to your relationship, and trust in it, you can gain so much more intimacy, and enjoy the new-found depth to your relationship.
If that seems like a daunting task, and you would like my help as a Relationship Coach to guide you through, then reach out to me. You can do so by emailing my at firstname.lastname@example.org, or messaging me through my Facebook Page.
None of us are truly powerless. We can all make choices about the type of relationship we want. But to do that we need awareness – awareness of our own unfinished business from the past, awareness of our relationship patterns, and an awareness of the responsibility we need to take for our own part in our relationship issues.
Recognising and understanding conflict cycles and relationship patterns that lead to stuckness are key components to my brand new course – Compassionate Conflict for Couples. If you would like my expert support to learn the EXACT techniques and steps to resolve conflict effectively without hurt, anger and frustration, you can now sign up! At just £99 it is incredible value for at least 8 hours of coaching, taking place over 4 weeks in the comfort of your own home, through videos, exercises and worksheets. And as an extra special gift for signing up, the first 10 people will receive a bonus 1:1 coaching call with me, absolutely FREE! These places will go fast and are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis so sign up NOW to avoid disappointment.
Until then, think of your relationship as a beautiful garden, which needs constant maintenance and attention to enable it to thrive!