InnerNet Weekly: Those Who Float

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from
Those Who Float
by Daniel Gottlieb

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806.jpgYoung as you are, I know you already know something about faith. You have faith in your mother’s arms. That’s a good start. But later on, you’ll find it gets more complicated.

Not long ago, I was talking with a woman who got me thinking about what faith really is. She was in her mid-forties, and in therapy she said she felt as if she had been "treading water" her whole life.

"What if you stop?" I asked.

Between you and me, Sam, that is not my most brilliant intervention. But it’s a good question. What does happen when you stop treading water? Either you sink or you float.

This woman felt as if she had spent most of her life treading water because she was fighting something inside herself. Some people do that all the time. They fight against fear of death, fear of being "found out", fear of losing their minds, fear of realizing they are not the people they should be, fear of becoming who they are. But as this woman was thrashing against the water, deep down she knew she would lose the fight.

So when I suggested that she stop treading water, I realized the difference between those who sink and those who float. The very moment you give up struggling with the water, if you’re going to float, you have to put your faith in the water — just lie back and let it hold you up.

–Daniel Gottlieb, in Letters to Sam

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Those Who Float
Reflecting on your life, have you had an experience where you’ve been “treading water,” and had to let go to allow the water to “hold you up?” What does having faith in that which scares you mean to you? How can we develop such a faith?
Smita wrote: I live on Maui, and a couple weeks ago I went to take a swim in the ocean. The waves were very big that day, but I saw a lot of people in the water so I decided it would be okay for me to go in …
Chris wrote: Great story, Smita! Love the wave imagery, and dig the metaphor of ‘diving in’ to swelling challenges and experiencing the freedom of that surrender. Resonate with this passage too, and …
Conrad P Pritscher wrote: Gottlieb is wonderful. I may float for a few seconds here and there, but most often, I find that I gently tread water while I’m thinking of floating. I often say it is better to increa…
Veena Vasista wrote: Oh yes!!!! This post really resonated with me. In 2009, my theme for the year was ‘Year of Effortless Living." I spent that year exploring how I could live my life with less effort – be…
Chris wrote: "To be still and trust" is one thing, "To be still and know " is one of the soul’s foundational gifts that is for each of us to realize….
Shweta Gupta wrote: EXtremely beautiful… I experienced this same thing for the first time on June 29, 2012 i.e 3 days back. I go to the beach everyday for a walk but never go in the ocean. Three days back my cous…
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