Water is Spirit. I’ve been told this, many times, and still, I forget. I have been getting many reminders lately. Actually, it started in 1995. I was at the beach I spent most of my high school years sitting on, but never going in the water because my hairdo would then be ruined, and flirting with the boys who assembled there was more important to me.
I returned, perhaps because of a high school reunion, and because of training I’d received in scuba diving class, I charged toward the surf, light, it seemed, and dove in. I swam a good way out, always wanting to be behind the waves rather than in front, looking back at the landscape of the beach, it’s yellow-sooty sand dotted with multi-colored bodies and umbrellas, and chanced to turn around to see a huge wave, a rogue set, coming my way. I struggled to reach the wave before it broke but I didn’t make it. The wave was cresting just above my head so I dove down all the way to the sand and rocky bottom below believing I was safe—but I wasn’t. I was thrashed upward, spun around and driven back down again. For longer than I could imagine. I thought about it as I was tumbling—me, drowning. My son and niece, both very young on the beach with no knowledge as to where they were. I had to take a breath so I did, hoping it would be air and not water. Air. Then I saw the second wave about to break on my head, I dove again as far down as I could but like the first wave, I was not safe from its impact. I churned and churned and churned, realizing this was how people drowned in the ocean. I never thought a good swimmer like me could actually die in the ocean, but there I was, in this sleepy, black, unemotional mode contemplating my death.
I resolved to live though, because of the two little ones I shouldn’t have left on the beach alone. I took a breath when I absolutely had to. Air. I looked up and sure enough the third wave of the set was straight above me as the others. I took the biggest gulp of air I could manage, given my terror, and went undercover. The wave, just as powerful as the other two, pushed me around like I was nothing, nobody, an incidental thing. I was mad at this wave. I was a mother. I popped my head up when I was about to burst and found a calm sea around me, littered in white-yellow seafoam and seaweed. I swam as quickly as I could toward the beach. I survived.
But it is not lost on me now, decades later, what this incident was about: my disconnect with Spirit. I was drowning in my marriage/career/parenting responsibilities and Spirit sent a “tidal wave,” driving me down into myself to see it. But at the time I didn’t see it, and Spirit, despite a pretty dramatic demonstration of a near drowning in the ocean, brought me other adventures with water; repeated leaks in walls, ceilings, balconies that brought mold into my life, sickening me to the point of wanting to give up on life altogether. The way out was a move away from my husband, my life with him, all that I had become—sick, and feeling all alone, unsupported.
I took my son and my dog with me. The first question on my horizon was: what just happened? I had the distinct feeling I had been “pushed” out of my old life but I had no clue as to what my new life was supposed to be. I had moved us back to the beach—not on the water, of course, but near it. Somehow, I knew that was where I was supposed to be. The ocean still felt like a bit of a threat to me, as I never felt safe going in after that near-drowning incident again, but my son was crazy about surfing and to be with him, I joined in.
Surfing requires you to be comfortable in the water. You have to watch for the waves—how big, where the break is, breaking right or left, when to take off, will it close out or hold up? To do that, you have to be comfortable watching a mountain (what seemed like a mountain to me) coming at you faster than you can believe. Sitting there on my board, waiting, trying to get my courage up, was not the best situation. So, yes, I wiped out more times than I did what might have looked like surfing. And my son laughed at me every time. But being in that water also soothed me in a way I can’t describe. I felt one with it. Using the water, rather than being a victim of it, was why I was there, scared as I was. How to move with it. Taking direction from it. And occasionally, enjoying the ride.
I was proud of myself for addressing my fear of the water, even after having twenty-odd stitches put in my thigh where my surfboard’s fin had imbedded itself. Yes, I looked stupid wiping out and getting hit by my board so hard the fin broke off and buried itself in my thigh and I had to call for help. I wasn’t good at that—calling for help—another lesson. There, immersed in water, calling for help, but that’s what I was supposed to be doing in my new beach town: calling for help.
Not that these water incidents have stopped. Just this morning I became aware finally that I’ve had water problems in every house I’ve ever lived in. The frequency, the scenario, the same every time. They are not devastating water problems like I had when I was married, much smaller ones, but ones that had to be addressed right away. It seems crazy to me to think of: a heater flooding in an attic, cracked and leaking valves in a jacuzzi tub upstairs, the spa machinery falling apart, a tear in the vinyl lining in the pool, a new dishwasher installed improperly, fountains, sprinklers broken—all occurring in my current home, far away from the beach, within the past three years.
I find it also noteworthy that the problem I have in my brain is also about water—swelling of the meninges—whenever I strain, lift something too heavy, get emotionally upset or, wait for it . . . feel disconnected from Spirit. When I came down with meningitis ten years ago I made a deal with Spirit, much like I did under the water, tumbling about under the pressure of the ocean, I’m a healer, let me live that life, whatever form it takes, learning from you, I swear I will be faithful to it and was given that life. But the earthling that I am, I find I’m too often tending to earthly distractions, getting upset watching the news on TV, or getting snarky about our political situation with family or friends, and I lose Spirit. I lose my way in Spirit. And I swell. This morning I sat up in bed and asked why all these water problems (including the one in my head). I was told it was to remind me of Spirit. The makeup of the body is largely water. My body is Spirit. All around me is Spirit. I literally live in Spirit. My job now is to stay in Spirit. Be the beacon of light for all who are around me. If I stay in Spirit, I will be cured of the water problem in my head.
I want that more than anything.
Annette Goggio, MPH, holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in the health sciences. Her practice in energy medicine is based on the teachings of Dixie Yeterian and Donna Eden of Eden Energy Medicine. Ms. Goggio offers a suite of services including hands-on and distant healing, life counselling, and numerology. To learn more please visit: www.aquantummoment.com. Her recent book, Healing: A Conversation, provides readers with a framework for understanding life purpose and the education of the soul.