11 March 2017

Dive, Dive, Dive.

I will always search for poetry in things. In everything.

Some days ago I had a short intro into diving. It wasn't much. Just two hours of lessons. Two hours of basic skills. In a safe environment, a pool, in a hotel, in the city.

But it triggered something in me. Something dark, something ugly, an old friend I haven't seen in a while.
I am not afraid of the water. How can I fear something from which I came? We are all made of water. We are all born from all this.

But there, submerged underwater with all those metals and the vest and the extra limbs attached to me, the weight was unbearably overwhelming. I had my own salt water secretly forming at the corners of my eyes. My mind was a mess. Something heavy and dreadful in me was triggered, and there, on fucking four feet of water, I was panicking under the weight of all the ugly things in me I had learned so well to contain.

But water, as it always have been, is pure and cleansing. I guess, in more ways than one, like when I sit to meditate and the monsters rise from the depths of my soul to be released, the monsters I had kept were rising from the water. From me.

I messed up my first dive skill lesson so miserably, I was panicking so badly, we had to skip it. I told my instructor about my anxiety. He asked about my gears. All the heavy things they have attached to me. I tell him it isn't my gear. It's me. My heart was pounding underneath my tight wet suit, the 17 lbs. air tank on my back, all the intricate tubes dangling from my vest.

After all this time, I still cannot bear weight. My heart begins to feel suffocated under things clinging on to me.

I've never been good with things attaching to me. Or feeling attached. This is perhaps the fucking cheesiest thing I will ever say, but I'll be damned if I don't tell the truth. This is the truth.

The instructors look at me with sympathetic eyes, and tell me something I already know but have perhaps forgotten: Anxiety roots from fear of something that has scarred us in the past.

There have been so many.

Salt water form in the corners of my eyes again.

And with a hand gesture, Dale, my kind, patient instructor, demonstrates to me. Waving his hands inwards to his mouth and out. Breathe in, breathe out. He says. Do it with me, he says. We breathe in, and breathe out.

We try again.

An hour after I finish my lessons he tells me, do you know you are smiling underwater now? I didn't even know that was possible. I tell him I breathed in and out.

Whenever I feel the panic rising, I pause and remember to breathe in and breathe out. It takes me longer to get through the steps, but who is rushing? I breathe in and I breathe out. Then I go on again.

This is what I have forgotten. I have been impatient, trying so hard to rush into things coming from toxic expectations no one has bestowed on me. Truly most of the time, we are our own enemy.

But I still spent that night tossing and turning in bed, unable to fall into slumber. Every time I fall half asleep, suddenly I'm back in the pool, water streaming inside my mask, bubbles rising everywhere, and I forget how to breathe. I wake up each time in panic.

I spent the past few days thinking about what happened there. Of all the wounds that have yet to heal. I have no answers.

I've enrolled myself in yoga classes. I am trying to get back into the practice. The practice of breathing in and out. Of stilling the monkey mind. Of letting go. Of letting be. And I feel happier.

Tonight I step outside and I see the moon. Have you looked up? The moon is beautiful tonight.

I sit in the dark and I hold on to the crystal hanging around my neck. The one I haven't taken off. Despite all the pain and heartbreaks we've been through, going through, and will inevitably go through (I know there will still be many), I just pray to the cosmos that may we never forget to be tender. That I remember to carry my tenderness with me wherever I go. That life may never turn us hard or angry. That may we always be reminded that, inherently, we are kind. And beautiful. And so so so loved.

So here's to diving, and diving more and more, again and again, into the darkness, the things that trigger us, the things we fear.

I will never stop searching for the poetry in things. In everything. I will never stop diving. I wish that for all of you. For all of us.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

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