Well I did it!! This weekend I completed my SCUBA training and became a certified open water diver. It was a great experience-one I will never forget. I completed the class work over the past few weeks and then spent two intensive days of training in Florida to receive the certification. This is a big “chapter two” thing for me. I have always loved the water and believed I would enjoy the SCUBA experience. I was NOT disappointed.
As I collapsed from exhaustion following the first day of training, I was reminded of the miracle of the wonderful mixture of nitrogen and oxygen in the air we breathe. There were times during my training that I was amazed at the fact that I was truly breathing under the water. This experience reminded me that when difficult times arise in our lives we often are at the point where we feel we can’t breathe. We aren’t sure where the next breath will come from and we are in need of some breathing apparatus to assist us.
One of the “skills” I had to pass for certification was to take the regulator out of my mouth—let go of it—wait 15 seconds, find it and replace it. Fifteen seconds seemed like a lifetime. The inability to breathe was such a defenseless feeling. The impulse to panic was difficult to fight. When I finally was allowed to grasped that regulator and plunged it into my mouth to begin breathing again, I felt an immeasurable feeling of relief.
When we face difficult times that leave us with the feeling of breathlessness, there is always a lifeline (regulator) for us to grasp. It may not be evident at first and we may have to feel around for it, but it is there. It could be in the form of a great friendship, a spiritual awakening, a song, or simply becoming aware of our own inner strength. The encouraging aspect of this analogy is that there is no need to remain in a state of despair. The assistance we long for is right there for us to grab on to—but—we have to be willing to do so—to grab for it—hold onto it—and use it to become living, breathing people again.
As for my SCUBA escapades, I am sure there will be more. As for life, I long to not only identify, but rely on the “regulators” in my life. What’s more, I long to be that lifeline for others.
This I know for sure…