Understanding the Importance of Wading

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“It’s been like wading in the water,” my friend said to me.
“More than just dipping your feet in, but not completely immersed, swimming or diving in either.  Just wading . . . hanging out, taking in the newness of the experience, letting it sink in . . .not really understanding the full significance of being in the water, but trusting there is one.”

I smiled.  Great analogy, I thought.

He was talking about the work he has been doing to better understand his own value, passions and purpose in this life.  He was sharing what he has learned about the process of absorbing the new perspectives, lessons and considerations that have been placed before him.

“I’m understanding the importance of showing up,” he said.
“I don’t have to figure out all the hows and whys.  I get to be there and bring what I have to give and my intention to help others with me.  What I’m seeing is the rest will simply happen.”

I thought, for a moment, about the impact of this statement.

I have recently had the honor of witnessing the power of this in his life.  What he was becoming aware of was the result of his ability to allow himself to wade around and be there in all that he has been experiencing.

Letting the waters of change and its life lessons wash over him.  Aware, awake, watching without full understanding of what it all truly meant, but with faith that it would lead him to where he needed to be.

It’s so interesting when we really look at this point.

We’ve been conditioned to think in terms of destination.  What is our goal?  Where do we want to get to next?  How do we get from here to there?  The focus usually being myopically focused on the “here” and the “there.”  And then the impatience with the time that it takes for the arrival to happen.

What of the process of getting from one place to another?  What is the value of the “hang time” where we are leaping through the air between rocks?

Are the experiences that make up our lives more about where we get to or are they about the journey we undergo to get there?

Then, what of the knowing?

We are compelled to know, to figure out the hows and the whys.  To plot it all out on graphs and charts.  To follow directions to a “t” so that we can ensure our outcome.

What is the value of wading here?

Of not exactly knowing . . . yet.  Of being present to the experience for the sake of experiencing it. Of learning from the process we are undergoing . . . letting it instruct us instead of us leading it.

Many teach the importance of learning the art of “letting go.”  The joys of living in the moment and caring more about the minute-to-minute happenings then about how it’s all going to work out.

So, if there exist the destination points of life and these are the markers by which we can gauge where we’ve been and where we would like to go, then the time in between these markers is the “becoming” or unfolding.  This process provides the lessons we are to learn that, ultimately, help to guide and support us in life.

I think about my friend’s comment about “showing up, ” and ask him for a take away from this.

“Allowing myself to keep wading,” he responds.  “Being consistent, open and trusting that I’ll eventually get what I’m meant to get.”

I nod.

The value of repetition and consistency is that in the “showing up,” time and time again and repeating the same practices over and over, we eventually learn what it all means for us.  Knowing that “progress is a process,” as another good friend, Ryan Ray, likes to say is about accepting that the development of anything, whether it’s learning a language or how to play golf is also about being unzipped, putting ourselves out there consistently and repeatedly and having faith that you may not “get it” right away, but in time you eventually will.

So, thank you, my friend, for this truly awesome way of viewing how to look at the process of learning & growing.

I will never again look at the simple act of wading in the water the same.