Appreciating the Ebb and Flow of Life
Spending a week at the beach inspired me to re-read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s amazing book, Gift from the Sea. It is full of so many pearls of wisdom! This time I was especially struck by her thoughts on the ebb and flow of life and of relationships. She says, “when you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment.” But most of us want everything to always be perfect. We “leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb.”
Unfortunately, things aren’t always going to go the way we’d like them to go. Happiness comes from accepting this and letting go of resistance. From staying fully present in each moment, appreciating what we can about it and accepting it as it is. We can dramatically enhance our well-being by learning to want what we have in our lives. Like when Sheryl Crow sings, “it’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”
When something bad happens we should accept what it is and try to make the best out of it. It helps to look for a silver lining, figure out what we can learn from it, how we might change or grow because of it. And we must always remember that the tide will turn.
Anne thinks learning to live through the ebbs-tides of life is easier at the beach where such beauty is revealed both at the hour of the sea’s withdrawal, shells, sand dollars, ripples in the mud, glistening foam, and at “the sea’s return when the encroaching waves pound upon the beach”.
It is important to remember that “each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid.” Try to accept, maybe even appreciate, it all!