One of the little sections in The Great Work talks about water and how it connects to emotions. From my pagan background, I've know about this relationship for a long time. One of the prompts in the book asks about if there are any bodies of water that make me anxious.
In reality, almost all water makes me anxious, and it stems from an event when I was little.
My sisters and I were taking swimming lessons at the local Y. I'm the oldest and they put me in with a group of kids who were a little older than me, and my sisters were in the younger group. I was already anxious because I wasn't with my sisters. The instructor had us on these little floating boards, helping us to learn how to kick without the need to stay afloat. I slipped off the board, didn't know what to do and totally freaked out.
After that, I refused to go back to class and I didn't learn how to swim until high school, as it was a requirement to graduate.
That didn't help matters any. I was the only person in the class who didn't know how to swim, and the teacher was the swim coach. He put me with his son, who was on the swim team. Did I mention he was pretty cute too?
So here I am, fat and ugly in high school, being taught how to swim by one of the hottest guys in the school.
There was one day where the teacher had us all working on holding our breath. I hated this one because you would have to get a gulp of air, go under the water, release the air, then come back up for more. I absolutely hated getting water on my face.
I eventually learned how to swim, kind of. I'm pretty good at floating so I would usually lie on my back and use my hands and feet to move me around. I never got over having water on my face, so rarely did anything on my stomach, except for a dog paddle-like move.
To this day, I still hate getting water on my face. My husband likes to laugh at me sometimes because of how I stand in the shower. I usually look at him in disbelief every time he sticks his head under the water.