It was just a swim….

I’m housesitting for some friends in a place where I used to spend weekends as a kid. Love it down here, ‘at home’ with the waters and breezes, flora and fauna that mother me and ground my thoughts –most of the time—on the stuff that matters. It’s really cool.

But today, I lost site of groundedness and shut someone out when there was no need. Should have seen the potential connection as a response to my yearning to make some friends. Chill time could have been a neat way to pause from a current project, and experience the normalcy of humanity that sometimes ‘sticking to my schedule’ prevents.

Here’s what happened: Every day while walkin’ my dog, a neighbor whistles to me. Not invasive, but annoying. I called him on it. “Hey. Why ya whistling?” And he said, “cuz you look too serious and I want you to jump into these waters and take a swim with me.”

Gulp. Momentary friek out, cringe, get me outa here combined with ‘who is this guy?’
Shift gears, next thought: pause, calm, remember Love’s in control, governs this moment, is what you are exuding, is what he is exuding. No fear. Only peace. No self doubt. Just love. No coincidences, ever. Seize the moment to love. Regain calm. Continue speaking.

Haven’t met this guy before. It’s our first verbal. I respond, “Ah, ya caught me praying again. Yep. I work as a practitioner of spiritual healing and I tend to pray about things when I’m walking my dog. By the way I am Tresha.”

He paused, asked if I was visiting. Meanwhile I’m still calming down the pull to squirm and exit. Got calm. We exchange more pleasantries. He asks me again to swim. I’m not jivin’ with it. Still overwhelmed with ‘self stuff’ (I don’t know this guy. I’m not comfortable in my suit with him. Plus I have work to do). I was calm. But still a bit caught up in fear. Self justification kicks in. I respond “Maybe some other time. I’m working on a project.”

Ooh, mighty mighty ego lets me escape at the last second and prevents me from sharing more genuinely. I know this but still feel safer there. Note to self: work on courage.

I surely saw him around. He asked me every walk (3x/day) for the next 3 days to take a swim. Each time the self got louder. “Can’t he leave me alone? Why does he keep askin’? Didn’t I make it clear I’m working? Tell him some other time. Remember Tre. Love’s guiding.” Real me says ‘then why are you fearing?’ Self argues back: I don’t wanna be bothered, don’t have time for frivolous play.” Self wins. Note to self: Keep an open thought. Be nice. Maybe tomorrow.

Pause: Okay…looking back, I see the echo of self justification and fear really robbing me of the potential good for the moment. Was he asking me to spend the night, spend the weekend or spend the rest of my life with him?

He was asking me to take a dip in the water and share time. ‘Round here, everyone swims. Even as he asked me, 3 others were wading in the waters, including his dad I later learned he cares for and some other neighbors.

It was just a swim. Yeah, but try convincing little miss stubborn-about-the-schedules-to-stick-to, little-miss-nervous-about-the-guy’s-overall-intentions. In those moments, fear and self justification won the day, darn it! I know better. Any pull to ‘stubbornly stick to a schedule’ and avoid Love’s spontaneous outpouring of good is just wrong. Avoid that pull. Dive into Love’s gift without regret.

But I didn’t. Not only did I convince myself I’d say yes later, but I also role played how I’d respond if he did ask me out. (see the strategy of the self talking?) ‘If plan A doesn’t work, rev up plan B.’ ie: if he’s getting me in the water to get me to go out with him later, here’s my ammo.’ DUH! What was I trusting that was governing the moment? Ugh! Not Mind. But fear, self, and ego.

Folks? Sometimes there isn’t later. He came by today to say ‘See ya. I’m heading back up to Michigan. Probably won’t be back til February. But nice chatting with you. You seemed nice. It’s a shame we didn’t get to know each other more. But if you don’t mind, say hi to my dad when you see him? I am kinda worried about him.” And he drove off.

It was just a swim. An hour or so to become acquainted, maybe even enjoy the water and be a bit childlike. Heaven forbid I allow myself some ‘frivolous playtime’ and human exchanges. And maybe, just maybe, I could have offered some thoughts that would have eased his worry ’bout his dad. But I didn’t give myself or him that opportunity. Nope. I had to stubbornly stick to my agenda, feared his motives, bought more time. Kinda sad I may never see that guy again.

See, in trying to live my spirituality, I strive to avail myself of all that good life offers, to embrace another and share heart to heart. And not just to talk about my work but to share lives, in small or big ways. And while I blew it this time, instead of dumping on myself for being stubborn and suspicious, I’m resolving to remember: no interchange is coincedence. Anyone who comes into our lives offers an opportunity to exchange common humanity, kindness, joy. Doesn’t matter if it’s with the store clerk, the toll person, the mailman, your neighbor.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly” (p. 9:5).

So I’m resolving to root out the pull to be stuck to an agenda, to be suspicious or fearful.
I need to do this better with men, especially. So I’m resolving to make more mental room for the spontaneous good Love brings, share my heart more and even give myself occasion for frivolous play. The dolphins do. So do the parrots. So can I. So can you.

Here’s to loving more wholely…thought by thought…ourselves and our ‘neighbor’—whether or not it’s just a swim.

Be well…..Tre ☺
If you wanna chat more about the above, leave a comment or email me at: and lemme know how to be in touch with you.

Posted in Uncategorized. 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “It was just a swim….”

  1. Yok Says:

    Yes, I do that myself at times. I was volunteering yesterday at a feminist organization. Here I was painting, scraping, being anal over a spot which I may have overpainted or painted over the lines as my anal self would call it 🙂

    I asked a woman who I was sharing the work with how she became involved in the organization and she told me about a support group. She had been running this group for over a decade helping a lot of women.

    Instead of asking her about the group and learning how I can help or lend a compassionate ear, I was fussing over how the walls weren’t in the best shape, how hard it was to paint evenly , blah, blah, blah….

    Sometimes the process itself isn’t the task at hand and getting it done but the people we meet and the lives we touch along the way.

  2. April Says:

    yeah! You never know when you are already being a light to someone and when they are being a light to you! I like to watch for those moments and it seems like a lot of them pass mme by but this article reminds me to pay attention more and I love it when I do! That’s my goal this week! Pay attention to the little lights shining for us all!

  3. Marc Says:

    I really like the phrase “potential good for the moment”
    So many times we can miss those moments – usually because we aren’t really in the present moment. So the missed swim was a learning experience…..

  4. tresha Says:

    thanks for comments thus far…i hear you marc about not missing the moments…and april, that being the light is key…we each can…thanks for the reminder!….and yok, i have a hunch that woman might have heard what you were meaning: you expressed concern for the care of the building…the space that brought the two of you to gather. maybe next time you could ask her about her work…but she surely felt the sincerity behind your words….i’m learning to trust myself more…even with the swimming offer. i didn’t plunge in but looking back i did chat with him a bit each day. here’s to talking/being/living more substance in the ‘moment’ 🙂 be well you all….

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