Swim Until You Sink

Throughout my life there were, are, and will be many individuals that appear to have my best interest in mind.  They come in the form of both personal and professional acquaintances. They appear charming, approachable, understanding, and empathetic; however, if you look hard enough, you’ll soon come to realize that they only care about successfully completing an agenda that will remain hidden from you for all times. I call them sharks although this is probably an insult to all sharks around the world and for this apologize.

These sharks hunt prey that are known to appear timid, eager, easily influenced, and unmoved even when motives become questionable. Along the way, they make their prey, or unknowing victim, feel like they matter. They make you feel like your thoughts and opinions are welcomed and respected. Their poker face is unmatched because once you have played your part and the agenda has been accomplished… you… little fish… are forgotten…

Today, I had a shark ask me to “let him know when I sink.” You see, no matter how long you’ve lived, no matter how much experience you have detecting and avoiding sharks, from time to time one always manages to sneak past your radar. So… this sneaky shark, that I once thought I could trust and look to for help, ask me to “let him know when I sink.” Not let him know when I need help or let him know when I need guidance… let him know when I sink.

Let that sink in….

I try so hard, as I do every day and as many of you do every day, to keep my head above water. And I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this phrase all evening. I suppose that once you sink, you’ve already failed.  In my case, this makes sense given the events of the last several months. From month to month this shark ensures that the weights I carry become heavier and heavier with the hope that I will eventually tire, give up and allow my lungs to fill with water. He tires of the hunt and becomes increasingly frustrated because this little minnow is hindering the hidden agenda. She is not as timid as she first appeared.  And just like the sneaky shark, minnows with big voices and calibrated moral compasses can sneak by unsuspecting sharks.

As I think about this phrase, “let me know when you sink,” I come to realize something. What he fails to understand is that I will always choose to swim. I choose not to sink. The weight I chose to accept from him is my burden to carry until I choose to carry it no longer. I decide when enough is enough. And when I do, I will gladly hand over every weight from my arms back into the arms of the shark. It will be in that very moment that I watch this sad, pathetic creature sink. And as he sinks, he’ll watch me swim farther and faster than ever before because the burden I chose to carry only strengthened my will to keep swimming.

So… my question to you Mr. Shark, are you prepared to sink while you watch me swim?

– Brown Eyed Princess


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