I signed up to do something new, snorkel in the glacier water of Iceland.
Why would I get in freezing water? I wanted to see the earth's tectonic plates, the edge of the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate. These two plates can be seen together in Iceland.
I was eager for the adventure. I was all Yes.
The morning I was scheduled to snorkel, I drove out with my husband early to the meeting point, a parking lot at the edge of the water. The dive company had a truck loaded with wet suits, dry suites, masks, and fins. I met two guides who would help dress 6 of us adventurous souls, and lead us through the water for 30 minutes between the tectonic plates.
While the guides helped us suit up, we were shown a map of the route we would swim. The water was crystal clear and we would see more than a hundred feet below.
No part of our bodies could be exposed to the icy water.
I was wearing thermal pants and top, a dry suit and wet suit. The dive hood was placed on my head, my wrists taped to assure no water would get through, and finally a cord placed around my neck to seal the dry suit. Each layer that covered us made me feel more trapped.
The confinement in the suit was more terrifying than icy water. My mouth went dry and my vocal chords were sticking together, which makes it impossible to breathe.
I couldn't do this.
I wanted to do this.
I couldn't do this.
The head game went on.
The guides were completely ready for this. I wanted to give it a try. I entered the water, floating and marveling at the plates. And as the rest of my group entered the water, I lost the head game. I couldn't swim forward without a way out of the water for 30 minutes. I had to listen to my No. Yes was gone.
I climbed out of the water and waved goodbye to my husband and the rest of the group.
One of the guides linked his arm in mine and walked with me back to the parking lot. He would help me out of the dive suit. As we walked he said,
"At least you were brave enough to try."
I thought of all the things I had done in this lifetime. All the things I had been brave enough to try. And I did not feel any sense of failure as I left the parking lot.
I took a walk and climbed the hill to see the tectonic plates above ground. It was stunning. Just as stunning as seeing it under water.
I marveled at the stone walls created by the plates. If I had not signed up to snorkel, I might never have seen the plates. I did not realize they could be seen above ground.
We all have those times when something doesn't turn out the way we expect. Sometimes, being brave enough to try is enough.
Being Brave Enough To Try
Posted by Sarri Gilman
I learned the healing power of boundaries first with myself, then by teaching it to many others. I am the author of Transform Your Boundaries and Naming and Taming Overwhelm. My next book is on Trauma and Recovery. I am a psychotherapist with more than 3 decades of experience. But my experience has not been limited to a small room with a couch. I also ran 3 non-profit organizations for 20 years, founding 2 of those orgs and taught leadership 7 years. Making boundaries easier has become my life purpose. I believe many of our conflicts, stress, and difficulties comes from the need to develop a deeper understanding about boundaries. I have webinars and workshops to help you grow your abilities.