Last month I was on vacation in Jamaica, where we ventured out on a few excursions to gorgeous waterfalls. The Blue Hole (also known as Secret Falls) is a hike along a series of waterfalls, where tourists can jump off into the foamy pools at the base. Some have rope swings, others offer platforms. It’s quite a thrilling experience for the more adventurous travelers.
At one waterfall in particular, the platform was about twenty feet high. I was nervous to jump, so watched a few other tourists leap off, splash into the pool, and pop up two to three seconds later as the current swept them to a rope that was tied-off at each side so they could pull themselves out. Seemed simple enough.
I stepped up to the edge of the ledge, took a deep breath and leapt off. I’m a strong swimmer, so I kicked hard to reach the surface. But I couldn’t find it. I felt the pressure of the water pushing me down and I kicked and kicked, reaching for the top with my arms assisting the swim up. My mind was discombobulated because I knew I should be above water already, but I was turning and twisting in the churning waters, and just couldn’t get there. As I was running out of oxygen, I finally reached the surface and gasped life-giving air back into my lungs.
I heard my husband and uncle both yell, “Are you ok? You were down a long time!”
Breathing hard, I grabbed the rope and pulled myself to the side and out of the water. I replied, “I couldn’t swim up. The water held me down.”
Our guide yelled down from the platform, “You pushed against it rather than let it take you and pop you up. Next time, go with the current.”
After I was safely on the riverbank, my husband and uncle jumped in as well. They followed our guide’s instruction to let the water carry them and bring them up. I timed it and they surfaced after two to three seconds.
My husband had captured it all on our GoPro. When we watched the videos later, I was under for twenty-seven seconds.
As he played it for me on the small screen he said, “We couldn’t figure out why you were down so long. It was kinda scary.”
I replied, “For you and me both!”
It was another reminder to trust and let go of my illusion of control. My strength to fight against the current is what kept me stuck. If I’d only surrendered to the natural flow, I would have been safely carried along to the surface.
How often do we think our way is the right way and we’re not backing down?
How quickly do we react with fighting against what is happening to hold back what we believe should be different than it is?
Sometimes relying on our strength and tenacity causes us to be stubborn when flowing with the current would better serve us. How much time are we wasting staying stuck because of this stubbornness, when we could have already been farther down the river enjoying ourselves?
These are all questions to ponder when we’re struggling against our circumstances and getting nowhere. Would it better serve us to let go and follow the flow of whatever comes next?
I believe in Pronoia, which is the belief that everything is conspiring in our favor. I live by the motto: "Everything acts in our favor, always." And sometimes my human-self needs reminding of this.
We're all being safely held and guided toward a path that is in our highest good. We can choose to trust the process and trust where we're being led, or we can stand firmly against it and suffer. I choose trust.
Will you join me?