I can’t believe it, but I have yet ANOTHER pool story, and yet another link to the wider topic of — drum roll please — forgiveness.
This morning I got up and wondered what the best time of the day would be to get my daily swim in. I have been going at different times, to accommodate my need for help getting out of the pool these days.
I called a pool buddy to see when she was going to swim today. No answer. OK. I said “Take care of me today universe!” and I ambled off to the pool with my green swimming noodle under my arm.
I decided to meditate in the sauna until someone came in and swam with me. Fifteen minutes later, another swimmer arrives. It’s my first time meeting them. Nope. Not going to ask for help getting out. Too awkward.
I start my walking routine in the shallow end. The worry monster in my head starts whirling with chatter. Someone will come, Lizzie. Relax. You won’t die in here. OK. OK. I talk to my anxiety and I chill out as I walk back and forth to strengthen my legs.
The next thing I know, I see the ‘cheesecake lady’ taking a shower. The ‘cheesecake lady’ is my mom’s twin. Same hair. Same mannerisms. Same Dutch accent. Same age if my mom were still alive. Twins, I swear. Almost scary how similar they are. Yeesh.
The ‘cheesecake lady’ and I have had a strained and difficult history. Not unlike the strained and difficult history my mom and I had. I call her the ‘cheesecake lady’ because the last straw for me was seeing her at my door, with a full plate of cheesecake, begging me to be her friend, after once again disrespecting boundaries I had set. I simply could not do ‘let’s be friends’ back then. Not only because of feeling hurt by this lady’s present-day actions, but also because of the unhealed baggage I was carrying (and desperately trying to heal) with my mom. I just couldn’t be around the cheesecake lady. Even if I love cheesecake, and it is my favorite dessert. I have principles. 😉
Seeing the cheesecake lady in the pool, I thought, “THIS is the person I need to ask for help from today, universe/God/whatever you are/(right now I think you are insane?!?) REALLY?!?”
Tears welled up in my eyes because I heard the answer within me: “yes, Lizzie. Swallow your pride and everything else your ego is serving you and ASK HER.”
“Cheesecake lady (I didn’t call her that…keeping things anonymous!) do you mind helping me on the steps when you finish your swim today?”
“Oh sure! I’ll help you. No problem at all!”
‘Cheesecake lady’ didn’t skip a beat. Gee, that really reminds me of my mom. Coincidence? Not a chance!
We swim together and have a lovely conversation. All the while I am thinking “Someone pinch me. I think this forgiveness stuff is really working!” While we swim and chat, I find myself feeling verklempt with a mixture of joy at the pattern between us being lifted, and regret that I wasn’t able to forgive and let go much, much sooner.
Maybe I am being too symbolic, but here’s the real kicker. When we got ready to leave the pool, I gave the cheesecake lady simple instructions. All good. We are on the same page.
She goes up the steps ahead of me. I follow. And for the first time in WEEKS … I do not need her help!! I got up the steps on my own. No struggle. No fear. Smoothly… way, WAY, way better than spreading creamy peanut butter on a fresh slice of bread. I. Was. Speechless.
Well, not completely speechless. (Come on, this is me, I am talking about, I am never totally speechless!) I told the ‘cheesecake lady’ about my recent attempt to get out of the pool – 45 minutes of trying before I got out onto dry land. I thanked her and swiftly headed to the change room. Once there, I promptly cried my eyes out and thanked Life, God, the universe, humanity, pool steps, swimming noodles, my bum leg and all things wholesome and good, for synchronicities that are truly healing my soul and my heart.
Forgiveness is what fuelled this experience today. It’s so very hard to forgive, but so strangely rewarding, in ways I never, ever would have expected. I probably sound like a complete nut bar talking about this, but in my heart of hearts this is SOOOOOO meaningful it overwhelms me. This might be one of those “you had to be there” posts… but I will post it anyway. Please indulge me. 🙂 😉 ❤
So here are some words I thought I would never say… Thank you, ‘cheesecake lady’. You are one of my ‘cornerstone healers’. Thanks for also forgiving me for our difficult history, and helping me move forward, literally (on the pool steps) and figuratively in life. I appreciate our experience today more than you’ll ever know.
There is joy in being open to experiences and trusting the process. I am so glad I have learned to ‘go with it’. I am also thrilled for the insight I have and the meaning I gather in these ‘life lesson episodes’ as I like to call them. I feel so much joy, I could almost go swimming a second time today… but I won’t push it! ❤ ❤ ❤