Empty Glass…

July 18th, 2015

As we stood together under the hut while waiting out the rain, I was secretly praying for it not to stop because of what was going to happen next. I am all for adventures but the thought of scuba diving in an ocean in Greece of all places, had caused me slight anxiety to say the least. I didn’t know at the time if you were feeling as nervous as me. If you did, you didn’t show it. The rain was coming down hard. The owner of the hut had placed a glass on the unsheltered part of the counter and I watched each drop of rain fall one by one until there was no more room to sustain it. A couple of minutes later the owner emptied the glass, placed it back in the same spot and the process continued from there. And then it happened. The rain stopped. Just like the glass of rain that was full, so too were the emotions housed inside of me. I couldn’t sustain my anxiety and the fear of what was coming next. I wish I could pour out my emotions that I had and start again with a clean slate just like the empty glass.

I wondered every night before going to bed when this feeling of constant fatigue, discomfort and lack of energy would shift for me. It was now week after week of feeling this way and no one had any answers as to why. I lost count of the times I went to see a doctor for a check-up and how each time I was told something different from the last one regarding my health. I was discouraged but what kept me going was my fear, my fear of the unknown. For me, the fear of not knowing trumps any other emotion. Once I was in the know, I did and continue to do my best to adapt to the situation and face it head on.

We had on our scuba gear that must have weighed a ton and we were empowered with the theoretical knowledge of what to do. If only the practical knowledge would be on my side in that moment because I froze the minute we had to go underwater. My heavy breathing, the build-up of my anxiety and my fear was too much for me to sustain. The idea of entering the depths of an ocean, not knowing what lies beneath was something I struggled with. As each moment passed by, the equipment strapped to my back was weighing me down. It was not as heavy as the fear that I carried. Not even close. My wife patiently waited for me to calm my nerves and trust that it would be ok. I had no idea that I married Lara Croft until I saw how calm she was; as if she had done this before. I looked to her for motivation. A good portion of the time passed before I allowed myself to overcome my fear. There I was now, submersed in the ocean. As I sank to the bottom, my equipment felt lighter each passing moment but the heaviness from my fear remained.

Cancer. So that’s what was causing me to feel that way for so long. That made sense as I had a feeling it was something more than what other doctors had told me. Finally, I was given an answer that I could accept about my health. But now that one fear of the unknown was solved, my diagnosis, another fear kicked in. The fear of what happens next. And so this vicious cycle continued…

When I allowed myself to focus, I realized how peaceful and serene this experience was. Besides the overwhelming beauty of the ocean floor, the water and the small fishes that circled us, this experience had much to do with breathing. I never saw how magnified the simplicity of taking each breath after breath was until I was there. It was ironic that alongside my fear, I also felt that I was alive. I felt that I was living in the moment, one breath at a time. Nothing else mattered there, the only focus was to breathe and this consciousness of being aware of each breath was exhilarating. Like the empty glass, I too felt no weight of emotions when I focused only on my breathing and nothing else. No thoughts running through my head, no fear, no anxiety, only the thought of focusing on my next breath.

canCertainly live life!

2 Responses to “Empty Glass…”

  1. Bachittar bhogal says:

    I felt exactly the same way as you so eloquently described I was moments away to quit before the jump and once I was forty feet under water it was like heaven and no phone calls total tranquility , the mammals keep their enviorement so clean and I shook someone’s hand and that’s etched in my memory

  2. Kulwant Jutla says:

    Bete isn’t it funny how the unknown weighs us down. If, only we could live in present moment all the time. What a wonderful life we would all have. FEAR really destroys us and plays with our emotions. It is very EASY to say live within God’s will but very HARD to do. God bless you both and keep spreading good word.

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