The Dunking Booth (Heart- 1.1.17)

Journey of the Heart – Day 17
©Susan Billmaier for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Focus your heart-love in the service of others. As you serve others through your deepest heart-love, your own love expands and becomes amplified. There is always more love to share, to give, to experience! Joy and gratitude fill you, when you open to your heart’s love!

Play the Guiding Thought here (loops automatically).
Journey of the Heart audio created by Brad Vanlandingham for Susanwithpearls-


You know the dunking booth at a local carnival or fair? A local celebrity or teacher (at least at the fairs where I grew up) would sit on a weight-balanced seat over a vat of water. Fair-goers then throw softballs at a target; there was always the inevitable heckling from the person on the seat, to distract the person throwing the ball. Upon a solid hit of the target, the person on the seat is dropped/dunked into the tank of water. What fun! Especially for school kids who want to have good clean vengeance against a teacher. There’s usually a volunteer running around collecting the softballs, and another helping the person out of the tank, and re-setting the seat for the next throw!

This is a metaphor for how I have–a couple times– perceived/experienced “reality” recently. Most of time, I am on the seat, above the water, and no one is even throwing softballs at a target. I can look down at the water, and know it’s there, maybe even dip a toe into it, but I am safely perched above it. This is how I experience “reality” most of the time: hanging out, no worries, life flows.

Recently, I felt like I was dunked, and I didn’t even see it coming. The dunking was as though into frigid water, and I was thrashing, unable to get to the surface. I was “dunked” into a vat of emotions of panic, anxiety, uncertainty, apprehension, unprotected. Since I spend so much time on the seat above the water, I felt like I could look up at the seat, knowing that this dunking was temporary. In other words, I could feel overwhelming emotions, but not feel trapped by them; but I admit, for a while, it was really hard to keep my bearings, as though feeling pulled down, unable to reach the surface of the water.

Somehow I felt intuitively that this was a metaphor for being dunked into the energetic chaos going on in the world today. This is how lots fo people feel all the time. But they can’t all distinguish between just being dunked and being in “real” life. For many people, the feelings of panic, anxiety, uncertainty, apprehension, unprotected are real life–at least for now. I did re-surface and all was well, until…

It happened again, though it was not as severe as that first time. The emotions were not as intense, the feeling of not being able to reach the surface was not as drowning, but the immersion lasted longer. This time, since I was underwater longer, I feared losing sight of my seat above, feared that this immersion into uncertainty and anxiety would overtake me, feared that I would lose my ability to remember that there is a seat above, and all I have to do is climb out of the water.

When I am on the seat, above the chaos, it is easier to be in the service of others; I prefer that vantage point not only because it feels better, but I like to be in the service of others. I can’t save a drowning person, if I feel as though I am drowning. Most of the time, I have the love and assistance to give, to help pull others up out of the tank. But then, sometimes I am feel like I’ve been dunked; sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.

Right now, there are more people in the tank than out of it. That means a lot of giving and serving for those of us who know how to climb out. And a lot fewer people to help us, when we get dunked.

Imagine that there are people in your life who have been dunked. Maybe they know it, maybe they don’t; maybe they are drowning. Can you be the person at the edge of the tank, holding out a hand to help them up, help them back onto the seat?




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