“Fear is faith that it won’t work out.” ~ Author unknown
While watching a comedy sitcom in which a kid was trying to learn how to swim, I saw my daughter become pensive for a moment. Then, with a puzzled look spreading across her little face, she said: “If I can swim, why is he having such a hard time with it? He can just float.”
I tried to remind her of when she didn’t know how to swim either, and how apprehensive she was when the swimming instructor first asked her to ‘let go,’ but since that moment in her life was long past, she simply shrugged her shoulders and remarked that all the kid has to do is to let himself float.
Since there was no point in arguing her down—and also because she had a point somehow—I only told her that fear is what stops people from swimming, and adds pounds to their bodies making them a dead weight; since she is no longer scared, she can abandon herself to the water and float easily. That explanation didn’t really satisfy her never-ending curiosity, but her five-year-old attention span saved the day; she had enough of my “weird” explanations and happily trotted off the next room to play. On the contrary, my daughter’s simple question left me with a couple of points to ponder.
We readily assume that our reality is largely affected by facts that can be proven through physics or other scientific disciplines, but if one analyzes the water Morgan swims into, and the water the kid in the show fought with, there is really no chemical difference between the two. Just as well, the second kid’s struggle cannot be attributed to him being heavier than my daughter, as there are many people larger than him swimming like fish. In fact, body weight has little to do with staying afloat, since heavier people can at times float better because they displace more water. So what can possibly stop one kid from floating which doesn’t affect other people who know how to swim? The answer is a simple one…the kid who can’t float is just allowing is fear of drowning to overwhelm his natural ability to float on water because the focus of his faith is not in succeeding but in failing.
Swimming isn’t the only skill we forfeit because of fear, and every day we lose wonderful opportunities to grow and evolve because we are scared of the unknown facing us. We have faith that we can stand up and thrive on solid ground, and we have no trouble doing so, but we question our faith when it comes to dive into unfamiliar waters; similarly, we have faith that our lives will run smooth if we follow old, proven channels, but we have faith we will lose our stability if we think outside the box and take a risk.
To elaborate using a very recent example, I will share something else. My husband occasionally buys lottery tickets, and yesterday morning he asked me to check the numbers of his ticket online while one of our sons was in the kitchen eating breakfast; when he heard what his father asked, Michael mindlessly asked if we are ever going to win the lottery; without thinking twice, my husband replied no. I almost asked him why he bothered to even buy tickets if he already assumed that he is never going to win, but quickly dismissed the question and moved on with my day; I can assure you however, that until he can change the focus of his faith, you will never read on the paper that the Carrington-Smiths in Raleigh NC have won the Power Ball! Since he expects to not win, Universe has no choice but to indulge him.
Faith and confidence can carry a person on powerful ethereal wings, as long as one doesn’t decide to look down and mentally calculate the depth of the fall. So, in so many ways my daughter is completely right—if she can swim, so should everybody. As long as they can believe they can.