‘Just Keep Swimming’

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My favourite animated movie of all time has to be Finding Nemo. I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter when I first saw it. Let’s just say that my pregnancy was not at all what I had imagined. I spent most of my time trying to convince my food that my stomach would appreciate it much more than the bathroom sink. Needless to say I was miserable for most of the first and second trimesters.

One Friday I had managed to bring up every conceivable food and beverage and my poor husband was at his wits end in how he could make me smile again. That evening he had a revelation that would take me through the hard times of my pregnancy. He walked in with the movie Finding Nemo, put it in the DVD and the unimaginable happened. I found the movie so thrilling and amusing that it took my mind off of how awful I felt.

To this day I have watched the movie many times and 2 children later it has become one of our family favourites.

For those of you who have never seen the movie. Ignore the fact that it’s animated and go out and get it. It’s the story of a Clown Fish called Marlin, who suffers devastation when a shark invades his territory and kills his partner and entire school of unborn babies. Only one fish survives, his son Nemo. Marlin becomes very overprotective where Nemo’s concerned and one day Nemo decides to rebel against his fathers control, goes out into the deep waters and gets captured by a huge fishing boat.

The entire movie is the adventure of Marlin trying to find his son again. Very early in the story he meets one of the stars of the show. Her name is Dory. Dory is a forgetful fish who looses touch with reality at the drop of a hat. With a big heart she endeavours to try and help Marlin find his son but she ends up frustrating him because she’s just so forgetful.

Marlin suffers many lows and highs during the movie and forgetful Dory does her best to try and encourage him. One of her stella lines in the movie comes at the height of the sometimes dangerous adventure when she belts out her mantra, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming swimming”.

I’d have to say that this is one of my favourite parts because it has become a mantra of mine also. There are times when life experiences can seem overwhelming and there’s almost a sense of being drowned by them. Sometimes they seem so intense and you can almost envision the water piling above chin level. This is where I remember Dory’s song and I make a decision to keep swimming.

A favourite bible passage of mine is taken from Isaiah 43:2 and it says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you”. What a tremendous comfort that scripture has been to my life. To know that God will never allow me to be overcome by my circumstances. In this I’m assured that he will take care of me through the hardest of circumstances and I can keep my head way above the water.

Whether you’re a person of faith or not, I want to encourage you not to give up even though it may feel that the waves of your circumstances are crashing against you.

Maybe you’ve started a business and the economic climate has not worked in your favour, maybe you’ve been a casualty of redundancy or maybe you’re working through a broken relationship or even more final, a divorce.

These life changing experiences can really hit you where it hurts and make you feel like you’re sinking. But you’re not. It’s not permanent or pervasive and does not reflect your future or your potential.

Those years ago when I was going through a really hard pregnancy and it felt like it would never end. Dory taught me that instead of curling up and losing myself in a well of depression; I could overcome it and get to the other side. So just as she sang her song of encouragement to me, I’d like to sing it to you…

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimming”

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