Sink or Swim?

Sink or Swim?

During a particularly difficult time in my life, I came to a juncture in the road and sat down to panic.  I didn’t know how to deal with it.  So I sought help.

The help that arrived was a long email, lovingly and intuitively crafted.  The final sentences were profound: “The question is; do you sink or swim?  It is not a matter of fairness, justice or expectations of where your life ‘should be.’   Draw strength from swimming.”

Draw strength from swimming.  Ah, there is strength in swimming!

Life can and will present challenges.  It seems to me that the better you become at handling life’s challenges, the more successful you will be in living a whole and happy life.

Is it possible that learning how to deal with these challenges comes down to making a decision? We can sink or swim, face it or flee, flounder or flourish?

Do we teach this to our children? Do we allow them to experience the natural and logical consequences of their actions and then help them to process the situation and deal with it?  Too often today, we try to protect our children from failure, pain and trouble.  While it is our natural impulse to do this, it’s not helpful.  If as children we don’t solve our own problems, how will we ever learn to swim? How will they learn to deal with life’s challenges gracefully?

Back then, I made a decision to first survive and then thrive.  I am well on my way to thriving.

I’m not there yet, but I will get there.  I’ve learned how to swim.

Photo by Mubariz Mehdizadeh on Unsplash

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About The Author


I have always loved writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age,both available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. You never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?