"A rip current occurs when the receding flow becomes concentrated in a particular area at a particular time."
I have just survived a rip current of life.
In the months before my mother died, I first felt the hints of a receding flow. It was just a gentle feeling of foreboding tickling at the back of my mind. Spiritually I braced myself for what was coming.
Braced as I may have been, when she died the sandbar broke and was cast into stormy waters I'd thought I'd never see again.
Feelings of unworthiness, self loathing, separateness and loneliness overwhelmed my mind. To the most of outside world, It may have not been apparent, but I was suffering greatly inside.
"If you get caught up in a rip current, it's crucial that you keep your wits about you….. People drown when they thrash about in the water"
The truth is this was not my first go round with depression. Id thrashed in the rip current before. My thrashing involved seeking pleasure through food, with drugs & alcohol and many more less that savory endeavors. Luckily back then I didn't drown but I sure came close a few times. Naturally despite knowing better I thrashed about again. But this time I was brutally aware that my thrashing didn't do anything to make the experience any better.
I was agonizingly aware of exactly what was happening. When the voices in my head told me I was less than, I knew they were lies. Awake and being dragged into the unknown was a difficult endeavor.
I felt embarrassed that depression had its grips on me again. Embarrassed for the self deprecating thoughts that ravaged my mind. All the things I hoped to help others to move past, had taken over and put up camp in my life.
Being who I am, I shared my struggles with those closest to me. But if I am honest that didn't help much either. No one was going to save me from this pain.
My only option was to simply be. Let it pull me out. Trust that I would be alright. Know that this was happening just as it should to serve my highest purpose.
At times it seemed I was almost out, only to be swept up again. But eventually I found myself out in the open water, treading but safe.
And then I felt the push in begin. Things started to move forward again. New people, new places in many areas of my life seemed to converge forces. A new wave is rising.
I am once again tapped into my power, my confidence, my authentic loving self. And it feels amazing.
However I am not writing this post to celebrate the joy and presence that has once again entered my life.
I am writing because, there is something I've learned that I want to share with you.
its as simple as this "rip happens". Sandbars break. Upheavals are a part of life and they are the alchemy of our evolution. They aren't a failing, they are our humanity. Sometimes we are sucked back out, so that we can go deeper into the depths in service of coming out even better than we were before.
The long hard fought turbulence in my past eventually laded me on the shores of self love. After this go round, I see a similar shore. It is again a shore of love, but a love much greater.
The love I'm beginning to see is greater than me. It’s a love for others that I am discovering in many ways for the first time. I am more authentically loving myself and others around me. I'm not sure which causes which but my best guess….is that their actually the same exact thing.
"Rip currents are terrifying because they catch you off guard: One minute you're bobbing along peacefully in the surf, the next you're being dragged out to sea at top speed."
I don't know this for a fact….but I'd like to think if we accept and expect the rip currents that will inevitably come, they will be slightly less terrifying when find ourselves caught up.
I will be swept violently out into the unforgiving current again. I will lose presence. I will become prisoner to my thoughts. My ego will win the day. My heart will know hate and it will know agony. However I will also have faith. For I know that through all that I am not, I will become more fully who I am.