Have you ever tried to force yourself to relax? Were you struck by the absurdity of that?
It makes me think of when I was a kid.
We were at the beach, and Mama was trying to get me to float in the ocean. I wasn’t very good at floating.
It was hard for me to let go, to let the ocean support me, to put my head back and let my body soften into buoyancy in the salt water.
Plus, my feet seemed always to sink. I was a skinny kid – not much body fat to help me float.
But Mama was convinced that I could float – if I’d just relax.
So she’d be holding me up as I lay on my back in the ocean. And she’d let go.
I’d start to sink.
And she’d say, very forcefully, “RELAX!”
I’d just tense up and sink more.
It never worked. I never floated.
That’s how I feel lately. Like I’m telling myself, “RELAX!”
But I’m adding, “DAMMIT!”
It’s not working. Even though I’m trying so hard.