Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
How can one learn to live through the ebb tides of one’s existence? We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow and resist in terror its ebb… ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Last month I didn’t write, and this month I had to force myself to do it. Somehow, I feel like I should only write when things are going well and I can be upbeat and inspiring. When I’m feeling uncertain, anxious, sad… then I want to curl up in a corner and hide. Why is that?
On the surface, nothing particularly terrible is going on. In fact, I moved to a lovely new apartment that feels so much homier than the one I’ve left. But there are money worries, and getting used to orthodontia, and not knowing what to do with my future, and watching my daughter’s struggles to get established as an independent adult in this tricky economy. There are worries about the world, and animals, and looking old.
And, most of all, the unconscious worry that this ebb tide will never end. That I’ll feel this way forever. The water will never come back in.
But that’s not how the world works. I can look back on my life and see the ebb and flow of my circumstances. I see evidence of death and rebirth everywhere in nature. It’s only the ego that screams out: Something is wrong here! You shouldn’t be feeling like this! You’re supposed to be happy all the time!
I look around at friends and Facebook and feel embarrassed that my life seemingly isn’t Insta-worthy. How come that 50-something woman got divorced and instantly found a handsome, rich new husband to travel the world with? I haven’t had a date in five years! How come other people’s children leave college and walk straight into great-paying, fabulously interesting jobs?
I think when our lives were circumscribed by the village or neighborhood we lived in, there was a more realistic set of references for what was normal to expect. We knew that hard things happen, and people keep going. Or not much of anything happens, and people still keep on going. We don’t reach the summit and expect to stay there the rest of our lives. In order to reach a new summit, we have to go down the mountain and back up another one. We have to let the water go out so that it can come back in again.
I write this for myself as much as for anyone else who is reading. Ebb tides and long slogs across the plains are part of life too, just not the parts that people like to admit to or commemorate on social media. I want to stand up and be seen when my life is just blah and worrisome, rather than hiding away until I feel all bright and shiny again.
6/30/2019 03:56:42 am
Amaya, your words always touch my heart and soul. Missed your writing last month. Yes, it is in the contrasts of our lives that we gain our greatest understanding and appreciation. The low times are our learning times. Personally I stay out of the social media arena. I hear many people saying the same thing. It is so easy to become dissatisfied with your own life. Just rest in the knowledge that you are light-years ahead of most people in your depth of reflection, your ability to communicate through your writing, and your honesty.
6/30/2019 05:06:38 am
I love your wisdom, always. And your words give me comfort, always. Be well.
6/30/2019 05:49:17 am
Thank you Amaya,
6/30/2019 05:58:25 am
Tears welled up in my eyes as I read this. I,too, am at this point. Logically I know ‘this too shall pass’ but sometimes it’s hard to see the light of hope that is out there. Thanks for putting it into words and reminding the rest of us we are not alone
6/30/2019 07:12:54 am
Great post, Amaya! Very relevant to today's world.
6/30/2019 11:02:03 am
Tears welled up in my eyes too. I needed this right now. A good reminder that there definitely are ups and downs in life.
So grateful for your post today! It brought support and comfort, reminding me I am not alone.
6/30/2019 02:05:30 pm
Reading your posting this month --
6/30/2019 03:16:49 pm
9/2/2019 09:57:55 am
Just read your article in Bella Grace--TRADING SPACE--wow, like you know ALL my thoughts of living in New Orleans now, leaving a small Mississippi town....
9/24/2019 10:39:05 am
I just read your article, Trading Spaces, in Bella Grace which prompted me to visit your website. I love this post about ebb and flows, which is helping to sooth a part of my ebbing soul right now. Thank you.
9/25/2019 05:42:02 pm
I love what you write, but the key word is "write".
11/1/2019 06:10:42 am
“I’ve contemplated dismantling my website and business altogether” - please don’t !! You’ve helped me feel I wasn’t alone and lonely during this gut wrenching and heart aching time in my life. You’ve confirmed my belief to not fight the tide but to simply drift. This moment of silence in life is daunting, it’s a scary feeling.... to not know where we’re going. Lots of people take a very long period to get to this phase and it feels empty. I accidentally came across your article “the power of waiting when you don’t know what to do”. It’s helped me to stop fighting an exhausting fight with life. Please keep writing, especially on liminal times.
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