This morning I awoke to a picture and a story a friend has posted on Facebook of a humpback whale. This is what it said:
A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.
This is her story of giving gratitude.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her…. a very dangerous proposition.
One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.
They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.
When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.
The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.
May you be so fortunate …
To be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
Reading this story sent waves of emotions flowing through me and made me stop and give thanks for all the people in my life who have helped to cut me free when I was bound by ropes of the past, traps of abuse by self and others, and nets of lies and distortions.
There have been times in my life when I felt so weighted down by the forces that seemed to be weighing me down and disrupting my ability to experience the peace and joy that lived within me. I know I have been blessed in my life to have had someone who has seen my struggling and been sent to help me. Their concern for my well-being began a ripple effect, which continues to live on in my life to this day.
While I am not a whale, I remember where I was when I was in a similar situation and will always be so grateful for all those who helped me in my journey. It is important for me to acknowledge that what was wrapped around me did not happen at one time, it was an accumulation of a lifetime of trash and toxins that I now needed to remove from my heart, mind, body, and spirit.
I also have to acknowledge the aspects of being set free that were scary. I can only imagine what the whale must have been feeling with a knife so close to its eye. At those moments, you trust the people who have been sent to help you and know that their actions come with an intent of love.
I have also been thinking that this humpback whale, one of the largest of creations was in its most desperate time of need was helped by something amazingly small in comparison – a human being. Sometimes we think that size is equated with strength and power. Sometimes the source of power and strength we need come from the least expected and smallest of places and sources.
I also appreciate the faith and compassion of those who worked to set this whale free. Here they are working to save an animal that had the strength to kill them if she wanted to, once she was set free, yet they were willing to sacrifice their lives to set this whale free.
Strength and power have nothing to do with what is on the external; it is all about what is on the internal. Over the last decade, my body has lost some of its strength, size, and power. However, I have gained an internal strength and power that will transcend all times and all situations. Like the whale I am now swimming free.