Riptides of Change

rip current.jpg

Today I learned about the dangers of riptides. Maybe a beach trip was in your summer agenda and you learned about them too. Riptides are invisible currents that move outward from the beach. They are under the surface—below the attraction-seeking visible and noisy waves to which we are paying attention. Most importantly riptides are dangerous. Seventy-seven people tragically have died in 2018.

Riptides are a rough metaphor for change. The tides of change can be invisible, and we can metaphorically drown in change.  

Like riptides, change pulls you from the place where you want to be, where you were comfortable, toward the unfamiliar undesirable, deep water. The primary reason people drown is because, once they realize they are caught up, they fight the riptide.

What I learned today is that the best way to “escape” the riptide is to go with the flow. That is, let the riptide take you to the deeper water rather than try to scramble back to the beach. Once you are in the deep water, you have other options for rescue or finding your way back to the beach.

Like riptides, you can drown in change if you fight it. It may be less comfortable to be in the deep water, but it is better than fighting. Fighting change can have disastrous results.

Safety in deep water, of course, assumes you have some basic swimming skills to start. If you get caught up in change, don’t panic, stop and think how to save yourself. Knowing your abilities and knowing how to navigate the tides of change can reduce the fear of getting in the water and keep you safe.