Sink or Swim

We’ve all heard that saying…. either sink or swim. It’s a metaphor for many different things but I relate it to one’s emotional balance.

When the weight of life pulls you under the surface of the water, you’d expect your survival instinct to kick in but it doesn’t always happen. Swimming or even treading water is exhausting, especially if you don’t see any sign of land. Sometimes just keeping your head above water is overwhelming.

I do hate that sinking feeling, but what if you choose to sink? At times the idea of just sinking sounds lovely. One of my favorite songs, Let Go by Frou Frou says it best; “So let go, let go. Jump in. What’cha waiting for? It’s alright ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.” The idea of a breakdown being a thing of beauty is comforting. The view from under water is absolutely beautiful… everything is weightless, graceful and peaceful.

I also love the idea of surrendering to that need to sink, to feel it and accept it. Yes, the thought of simply slipping below the surface is beautifully poetic, but it’s just not practical. There is work to be done, children to raise and bills to pay. In real life we can’t afford the luxury of peacefully sinking. Damn. That means we have to swim.

There are times when I’m just too busy to sink, although I am just one melt-down away from my perfect weight. On those days I hear the sage voice of my favorite fish Dory, who sings ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”. It helps get me through. Of course when I need a break but don’t take one, my body protests by getting ill or hurting so then I have no choice but to stop moving.

There has to be a healthy medium. Maybe the answer is to take a deep breath, stop struggling and just sink for a moment. Enjoy the beauty of being under the water and just keep the surface within sight. Then when you feel like you’ve got the strength, start swimming again. Even fish need to take breaks.

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