Funny motivational speaker Amy Dee’s blog
“Socorro! Socorro!” We heard cries for help coming from the ocean. It was our first evening in Cartagena, Columbia. We were strolling the beach watching the sunset, when we heard their screams and spotted a man and two women in the ocean, waving their arms while the waves washed over them, and the tide pulled them further out to sea.
Dad and another tourist walking behind us, both yanked off their shoes and dived into the ocean. Dad pulled one woman to the shore. The other tourist saved the drowning man. Tragically, the second young woman too far out into the sea to save. Helpless, we watched in horror as she was swept away.
Heartbroken and shaken, we met the tourist and his wife for breakfast at our hotel the following day. As the adults rehashed the story, the man explained that he was from Australia, and swam in the ocean daily. It was long ago; I was in middle school, but I still remember his advice about swimming in the sea.
“Never try to swim out of a riptide, you will tire quickly, and it will pull you into the sea. Instead, swim with the riptide, parallel to the shore, and you will eventually swim out of it.”
Recently, my friend and I were commiserating on the slop bucket of difficulties that had dumped into our lives. “Between my family’s issues, my problems at work, and my husband’s bad health, I feel as though I have a target painted on my head!” Diane laughed, wiping away a tear.
I understood. Diane didn’t honestly believe that an unknown force was out to get her, but we all know how it feels to have problems pile up so much that we feel victimized repeatedly.
I find comfort in comparing life to a swim in the ocean. One moment you are frolicking in the sunshine, filled with happiness, and life is lovely. The next minute a riptide yanks you into the scary unknown.
Your riptide could be layoffs at work, a suspicious lump on your breast, or your child flunking biology. Suddenly, a riptide of problems pulls you into a sea of hopelessness.
Don’t fight your riptide of problems. Instead, work through them by using the following strategies.
1.Rename Instead of calling it a “problem,” refer to it as a life challenge. A challenge is a dare born with the hope of success.
2. Calm yourself: Do not replay self-deprecating or self-pitying thoughts.
Accept the challenge as a temporary situation, that you will deal with to the best of your abilities.
3. Stop blaming. Blaming is our human way of making sense of difficulties. But it is a waste of time and energy because it doesn’t help us better handle or find a path through obstacles. Save your energy.
4. Re-frame: How bad is it, really? Will it matter a year from now? When we face one issue after another, we can create a disaster mindset where every issue seems vast. Look for the lesson they hold. Remember, we coast through good times, but we learn through challenges.
5. Journal: Writing about your challenge allows you to step outside yourself and observe your obstacles. You may discover a new way to overcome your problems.
6. Pray. You come to this world chosen. You are not alone in your journey through life. Prayer lightens your load because you share it.
Sometimes we float through life, blue clouds above us, in a sea of calm. Then, suddenly the sky blackens, and a storm drags us into a riptide of trouble. Remember, storms don’t last forever, and a rainbow is just around the corner.
Become more Resilient, use this link to Amy’s Resilience resource guide, A Resilience Resource Guide