During Lifeguard training, Lifeguards are taught effective ways to respond to people who are drowning. There are several dangers which professionals must be aware of and certified to handle. First, a person who is drowning can reach a state of shock, begin to panic and become frantic. They flap their arms up and down in desperation of survival. By the time a Lifeguard comes to the rescue, the drowner has either entered a fight or flight response. When they are in a fight mode they are not able to focus on the situation of rescue rather they cling to the Lifeguard and may overpower the professional in search for air. This can lead to the death of both individuals. However, Lifeguards are trained for this type of crisis in two ways.
First, there are deescalation plans in place. They are taught how to calm an individual during crisis by explaining safety and reassurance. Yet, most people in crisis are not thinking logical and may not hear what the Lifeguard is saying which leads to plan B. A Lifeguard is taught to allow the drowner to respond accordingly and may have to go under water and wait until the person relaxes before carrying them to safety. Once, I heard a story of a Lifeguard waiting 5 minutes underwater until the drowner passed out and than was able to swim to shore.
This theory applies to everyday life. You can’t help someone who does not want to be helped. All you can do is focus on what you need to do internally and externally. Do not dwell on the choices other’s are making for themselves because eventually their decisions will overpower you causing more harm than good. You are only capable of doing what is within your means and ability. It can become frustrating, annoying or stressful taking on responsibilities of others. It is difficult enough carrying personal stresses let alone carrying a frantic drowning person.
Your responsibility is simple. Speak with love and always show love. Do not get caught up with fighting against a drowner because it will lead to a bad outcome for you and that person. Instead, wait for the right time. Chances are if the person is not ready to receive what you have, then when you give it, it will be meaningless. A waste of time for both parties. The sad truth is that people sometimes need to hit rock bottom before they realize changes need to be made. They have to pass out under water before the Lifeguard can swim to safety. Release the pressure from your mind, body and soul and allow God to take the lead. After all, God is in control and has the power to change lives so, let him work!