Day 3 of 29 Days of Spiritual Messages.
Today's spiritual reading comes from the non-fictional novel Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. It is the true adventure of two men who risked everything, even their lives, to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II.
Their deep-wreck diving became an addiction as they braved treacherous currents and depths that induced hallucinatory narcosis. They pushed themselves to their limits and beyond as they explored the wreckage of a German U-Boat, 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey, 230 feet below the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Let's dive in.
This excerpt is from chapter 2, page 22:
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On the surface, yes, this is about the dangers of deep-shipwreck diving, but upon closer inspection, what seems to be a warning is really a lesson about diving into life, in particular, into those areas of life that have brought the most pain to us.
This is about diving deep into our own personal wreckage so that we may "right" the "wrongs" and move forward from pain to freedom.
Any analysis of the self can be a bit uncomfortable. No one likes to be poked and prodded as if some kind of specimen under bright, blinding lights. But without self-examination, life stagnates. Even Socrates tells us that the unexamined life not worth living. If life is not progressing in the way we had planned, or if it is not advancing at all, we have to stop and examine what is holding us back from our potential.
Most of the time, if not all, that what is us.
Once we are aware of this fact, we can either make the choice to move forward or to remain inert.
Exploring our depths can be quite frightening. It is unknown territory, and it means facing fears. If we are holding ourselves back, we need to go to the "wreck" site and shine some light on it. This means taking responsibility for what has happened in our lives. And that can be scary.
Are there dangers? There can be if we are not properly prepared. It's important to understand the risks involved so that we can navigate safely and effectively through any twisted metal and tangled wires within ourselves.
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The real danger is not knowing what to do. That's why it's important to establish some kind of lifeline to grab onto to find our way back. This means getting the help we need, either professionally or informally, to plumb the depths. Should the sediment start kicking up, obscuring our vision, we have that guidance system in place.
When things come "without warning and from all directions," and when we are not prepared in some fashion to face it because of fear, denial, or low information, these circumstances "so completely attack [our] mind and disassemble [our] spirit," rendering us victims. Once we've lived, loved, and lost, it's easy to fall into this sort of thinking. But that's exactly the kind of thinking that will hold us down and keep us tied to the wreckage within.
Unexpected things will happen in life that may cause pain and hurt; we can't predict what will happen. Not everything is in our control, but when we remember that we are in control of ourselves, then we can choose how to approach these things when they do happen.
In the diving world, a wreck is not simply a wreck resting at the bottom of the ocean; it's a goldmine. A wreck gets explored for its secrets and hidden treasures, not its wreckage.
We are to see beyond the bones of wreckage in our lives and learn how to use that wreckage to transform us.
When we dive into the shadows and explore our personal wreckage, we will find many parts of it salvageable. We can refashion these parts and find much value in them. We can choose to believe that everything happens for a purpose and a reason, in time and in season.
It's up to us to turn that wreckage into gold.
How have you turned personal wreckage into treasure?