“Come on in! The water is grand!” says our friend, swimming amongst the brilliantly colored coral and playful dolphins. She would sure love some company as to not be swimming alone out there.

The rest of us just wave from the ship’s deck. Margaritas – with salt, of course – gripped tightly in our hand.

“Hell, no!” we say to ourselves, our fear being masked by a socially acceptable grin. We aren’t getting in that water. It’s too dangerous. For, there are sharks in that water, too, you know. And various other unknown creatures lurking in that dark ocean No, we prefer to just watch while staying on solid, familiar ground.

However, it does look like fun and our friend might appreciate the company, but the risk of joining is too great. There is peril in those tumultuous waters. I prefer to stay wrapped in safety and comfort.

Sadly, we remain dry all our lives. Not only do we not lead the pack into deeper living, but we choose to never join those who do. We let someone else take all the risk while we busy ourselves with pretense. We choose to maintain that we have it all together while someone else braves vulnerability. We dare not admit the imperfect human mess we are – we all are. Rather, we refuse to swim in the depth of feeling we carry on the inside. We aren’t risking rejection, abandonment or judgment. We prefer to remain hidden to keep safe.

But, there is a price to pay for remaining on the ship’s deck. We miss out on the fun of both human connection and emotional exploration. Because, life’s best treasures lie in the water. It is in the sea where the goodies are – the buried treasure, neon fish, warm water and cresting waves. The satisfaction of being fully alive rests in the ocean’s magnitude.

So, jump in. Close your eyes, hold your nose and dive. Your friend or partner will appreciate the companionship. And you will never look back – except to wonder what took you so long.