When You Get Out Of The Rip Tide

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Around 10 months ago not long after moving to Barcelona I got caught in stormy waters.

If you are like me and see waves you want to be in them.

The only tender point here is that there had been a storm the day before and I think the Sea didn't forget it like I did.

After going in with excitement, I found out very quickly that I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Wave after wave would break quicker than I had experienced with a restricted moment to gather breath and prior to it breaking on me I would first be raised up with the swell of the ocean, and slowly dropped from a height into the mouth of another wave, daunting is an understatement.

Always considering myself a strong swimmer I persisted to try and swim back to the shore but no matter how hard I tried it would pull me out and pull me under.

It turns out I was in a rip tide.

Usually the advice is to swim to the side and get out however I had only 1 side option because about 5 meters on the other side was a sea wall.

I realized the grave danger as I started counting my breaths and feeling my eyes trying to escape their sockets. I also could not call on my Wife or draw attention as she was with my children and I did not want to put their lives in danger.

Each time I gasped for a second of air before the next wave hit, I was getting closer and closer to the sea wall, it did not look pretty and neither would I if I hit it!

With no need to overemphasize, I was on my last breath and knew the only shot of reaching the sand as the wall drew closer was to let the next wave take me.

So I did, knowing that if this didn't work, the next one would hit me off the wall and there would be no way of getting off it. Before going under, I shouted "Jesus save me!"

I watched the wave breaking over me and I went under, I heard the life of the ocean and closed my eyes as it rolled me forward , I stretch out my feet and finally feel the sand after a 15 minute battle but it is an undercurrent where the sand dropped aggressively and the wave tries to suck me back out...

Using the very last of my energy and force myself forward and manage to cling by one foot and drag myself onto the sand, hands forward, I crawl out of the clutches of the sea and finally collapse.

Nobody knew a thing and my Wife then sees me and runs over.

I always felt in control of life until that point, it was humbling and showed me that pride does come before the fall.

That moment makes me think about the experiences other people go through in life, the challenges they face and how everyone around them can be oblivious like a bunch of unknowing sunbathers in that case.

In those moments you want people to know what is happening, maybe our days would be much better if we open our eyes and look around, away from the phone and allow awareness to set up other things like empathy to follow.

We are all guilty of bad habits created but perhaps all it takes to see positive things happen is willingness to take new action.

I have started looking around more and anytime I'm focused on my phone I use it as a trigger to remind me that if I just look up I will see things I never did before.

We have seen people crying on the streets one of which was a lady who had just lost her mother and we were able to fortunately console her in that very moment.

My 4 year older daughter kept looking behind to her giving the awkward eye as we took the lady for coffee saying "I don't like this lady" which was a cringe situation but that's another story, It's not all fairytales!

With an empathetic lens, heart and will we can see people for who they are as a result of what they may have been through, wouldn't this bring out better fruits than judgement or ignorance if well all practiced it?

What would that have meant if it was you in the state of despair?

What "rip tide" have you been through that has altered your thinking?