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Ebb and Flow

“When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom” ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Life isn’t always the highlight reel moments, for we’d quickly grow bored with epic living day-after-day until we meet our infinity. No, the mind and body need challenges to hone, and rest to recover, each in their time. We need our rainy days and Mondays to rest up for all that this world may offer us should we rise to meet it. Some days are ripe and full of wonder, others are relatively inconsequential, save for the urgency of maintaining our chain of days. To live to fight another day, if you will.

Ann Morrow Lindbergh was married to the most famous man in the world when she wrote the words quoted above. She was also an accomplished aviator herself, which is somehow lost in the shadow of history as her husband took the spotlight. Yet she achieved a bit of immortality herself, didn’t she? Knowing something of their lives, I don’t aspire to be like the Lindberghs, but they do serve as a clear example of the ebb and flow of life.

Relationships hit their high marks and low moments. Work, travel, health… each rise and fall in their time. We become resilient in weathering the storms life throws our way, and we embrace with vigor the good times for having persevered through the bad times. We all have these dalliances with light and darkness, don’t we? What do we learn from them?

This too shall pass, we all learn in our lifetime. This applies equally to the good times as the bad. It’s fair to ask, what are we flowing towards, and what are we receding from? We are what we put our focus on, and each of us must develop resiliency and independence to survive and grow. And when we fill our lives with people who lift us up, the ebbs are more sustainable, and the flows just may be magical.

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