My struggle with water (anxiety) When I was younger, I often thought of myself as mostly made up of fire. Strong flames lapping up from my interior, experienced as anger, or lust, or of fear, and looking around, being on alert. There were times when I would see myself sitting in a cave looking at a stone that was aflame. It gave me warmth, and I felt protected while I was there. Now the image I have of myself has changed. I see myself sitting in a boat on waters that can be either rough or very quiet. I am just sitting there waiting for something to happen….I find myself as I grow deeper into old age as a man who has more than his share of anxiety. I experience this as water. I would rather be filled with fire, as unpleasant as that could be. For at least I knew what I was facing. Or thought I did when younger. I now understand that what fed my anger, lust, and being on the alert, was this deep well of anxiety. So I am in a boat, a small boat with me in it, alone, waiting for God knows what. Yet in the waiting I sense a presence that is calming and gives me peace. All I have to do is stay in the boat and ride it out. What the mind thinks, or the intuition perceives, does not always have an effect on the deep interior spaces that have their roots in the far past. Then there is the thought of being swallowed up by the deep seeming bottomless expanse of water. Yet in sitting I find peace. In sitting, I believe, I am making an act of faith. For in sitting, I am waiting. Perhaps I am waiting for Jesus to wake up in the boat, an unseen loving presence that I often feel when I am in the midst of waiting, while struggling with the water that seems to want to overflow and sink the boat I am sitting in. One day, Jesus will ask me to get out of the boat and walk on the water….one day. Perhaps it is the day of my death that the call will come. Or my own intimate relationship with my own mortality experienced as my last illness. Or perhaps something less dramatic, but I will get out of the boat, with the grace of God, and walk on the stormy water, perhaps anxious and afraid, but looking into the eyes and heart of my Lord……one step at a time until I arrive home.