Tide is coming in.
Off in the distance, storm clouds gather; dark, fierce and menacing in their approach. The increasing power of the tide, a clear indication of what is to come. Though the sun warms my face now, it is clear that it will be short lived. I am fine with that. I have weathered worse storms. Walking further into the ocean I stop when it reaches my knees; my skin prickles at the sudden plunge into the cold water. My feet sink down in the sandy bottom as the ocean comes forward and pulls away from me. Each wave that flows around my legs seems to have a bit more power than the one before. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the waves grow bigger and bigger, until they reach the cuff of my shorts. Still I stand, simply allowing the power of the ocean to surround me. A shift in the breeze whips my hair off my head and suddenly the metallic smell of the approaching storm mixes with the briny smell of the ocean and the waves grow even more powerful. I square my shoulders and walk further into the sea until the waves reach my waist. The force of the ocean keeps trying to push me back towards the shore.
So, I go against the tide.
Hurts like hell sometimes and can be so lonely too. But as I grew older I realized something - it had made me stronger and had taught me that being my own person, regardless of what others may think of me, is in fact, while hard at times, the most amazing accomplishment one can make.
It made me free.
There will be days when allowing power of the tide to push you in the direction it wants you to go would simply just be easier. Why fight it? Why not just give in and let it all go? Why not just take the easy way? You tell yourself that you are too tired to go on, too broken, and too lost. The whole world seems to be against you and there is nowhere left to turn. Everything seems so hopeless that you just want to give up, your very being crying out to just-let-go. There is a moment, when you are at your very lowest, that you must make a crucial decision - do you harness the power of the tide or do you let it carry you away?
Standing there in the ocean in the face of the coming storm- I realize something. That with every wave I went through, every time I was knocked down and forced to swim back up to the surface with all my might and gasping for air, every time my eyes began to burn and my legs turned to jelly - I had made it because I fought the tide. The tide of loss, the tide of sadness, the tide of anger and the tide of hopelessness. It made me stronger than I ever thought possible and made me appreciate all the good so much more.
There is an ebb and flow to life that is closer to the waves of the ocean than anything else. There are beautiful moments. Moments when the sun warms our face and the cry of the gulls warm our heart. Moments when all is right with the world. Then there will be moments of stormy and violent weather that threaten to destroy the very fabric of our hearts and minds. But after one fights the tide and sees themselves through the storm, they will notice that even the ocean plummets and crashes - but it always leaps back up again, retreats in on itself, gathers its strength and tries again. Over and over without fail.
All is not lost. Indeed, more is to gain when you learn to go inside of yourself to gather the strength you need to leap back up. It was there the whole time, you just needed the gentle reminder from the sea to remember.