Ebb and flow
To decrease and then increase, as with tides; a decrease followed by an increase, as with tides. The fortunes of the major political parties tend to ebb and flow over time. The ebb and flow of democracy through history is a fascinating subject. (Ref: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ebb+and+flow)
I have been giving my Pendulum Theory post a lot of thought and I want to change something – sometimes things in live are due to the normal ebb and flow, the movement that is around our universe all the time. The difference is that is that we have to consciously sow seeds for the pendulum to swing, whereas the ebb and flow it the normal course of life over which we have very little control.
To illustrate, Mr Joe Soap is an alcoholic and he can sow seeds of health and healing into his life to have victory over his addition – i.e. the pendulum will swing.
However, today Mr Joe Soap is full of energy and activity, tomorrow he is tired and needs a bit of down time and quiet. The ebb and flow. And this is true all in nature and in life – one minute we’re having drought, the next we’re flooding. Then the wind is blowing, and then there is calm.
The fact is that there is an ebb and flow to life. There are highs and lows. There is bitter and sweet. There are gray days and sunny days and it’s all part of the package. If it were peaches, sunshine and roses all the time we’d probably get bored pretty quickly.
The second level is that we resist the mood and immediately try to “fix” it or escape it. In some instances this takes the form of eating, drinking, doping, buying, consuming or indulging our way out of the problem. In other instances, we run, we hide, we deny or we slam on the brakes and shut down completely.
The bottom line is that the idea that we’re supposed to be on a high all the time is misleading and it can cause us to have false expectations. It’s no wonder that we live in a world mired in addictive behaviors aimed at escaping the lows that we all inevitably experience.
What I’ve been learning is that the best way to cause a shift in our mood when the darkness hits is to completely surrender to the experience of it. This means facing the feelings, writing about them, talking about them with someone we trust and sometimes, even laughing about them.
The more we resist the valleys of life, the more entrenched in them we become. But when we honor our darker feelings and accept them as part of the nature of who we are, then they lose their hold on us. When we acknowledge our feelings, give them voice and allow ourselves to feel the ugly, scary stuff, then the darkness passes and gives way to light.
Most importantly, when we’re having one of those days, it’s an opportunity to practice loving ourselves more, to dig deeper and have greater faith in our dreams, to build up our spiritual endurance and press on in the face of fear and uncertainty. It’s an opportunity to learn about ourselves and grow by getting to know a side of ourselves that makes us uncomfortable.
There is an ebb and flow to life. Rather than fight it or resist it, let us embrace it. Let us adjust our expectations of what is “normal” and practice accepting the highs, the lows and everything in between.
There’s a lesson in all of it and it’s by fully being wherever we are that we can maintain a sense of inner peace and remain empowered regardless of what the day holds or what the weather outside looks like.
These two theories are so closely linked but I think it is important not to confuse the two.
- Ebb and Flow (rjr10036.typepad.com)
My pendulum theory
This is a theory that I have had since before hubby and I met. In fact, I distinctly recall “coining” this in my mid-teens and I still wholeheartedly believe this theory to be true and accurate. Especially since I have now started to read about this theory in books and on blogs – promise you, I was there first:-).
Anyway, the pendulum theory is quite simple – today I hate Justin Bieber, tomorrow I love him. You see, the pendulum has swung. Okay, not so simple or as clear-cut, but let’s try this for an example – today I am poor, tomorrow I win the lotto and I am rich. The pendulum has swung. Or for the last six weekends, we had functions and activities planned for every weekend, but thereafter nothing. You see the pendulum has swung – weekends filled with lots of activity, then nothing for months. And it will swing back again.
And so it is in life.
You see, hubby and I have always battled financially and I believe the pendulum will swing in our favour eventually. And I believe the reason why the pendulum swings is what you sow into your life. For some people, they may never experience the pendulum swinging in big ways, because they do not sow into their own life in a big way. Let me give you an example, Mr Joe Bloggs goes through the same cycles of life that we all. For a couple of months he is so busy, he can barely keep up with all the social functions he needs to attend. Then for the next couple of months, he has nothing to do. And this is all well and fine – a natural cycle of life, but what Mr Joe Bloggs needs the pendulum to swing for in a big way is to combat alcoholism. You see, Mr Joe Bloggs loves to drink. And drink. When he gets home from work, the first thing he does is to have a whiskey. Or two. Or three. And Mr Joe Bloggs doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that he is a raging alcoholic and doesn’t see why he needs to stop. So, the pendulum is hanging in favour of alcohol, but will never swing back the other way, because Mr Joe Bloggs doesn’t want it to.
Now, let’s compare Mr Joe Soap. He also loves to drink and drink and drink. In fact, he is the life of the party and everyone loves to give Mr Joe Soap some alcohol. In fact, they strongly encourage him to drink, because then the party is so much more fun. However, in Mr Joe Soap’s case, there is this little voice in the back of his head telling him that this is wrong. And that he actually doesn’t want to live his life as the party drunk. And he does care. Somewhere, deep down inside, he cares about his life and what happens to him and being drunk all the time is not where he wants to be in life. So, he starts going to AA and starts to get his life back on track. For the first couple of years, he really battles. The constant desire to want a drink almost drowns out any thought or reason in his life. And although he is almost tempted to give in a number of times, he doesn’t. He carries on battling against his addiction, until one day the penny drops and it all just clicks together. And he feels on top of things – that even though this is a lifelong battle, he has finally reached the stage of “getting a handle on things.” It has taken him many years and many battles and much help from family and friends, but you see – Mr Joe Soap is finally winning the war.
And what is the difference between Mr Joe Bloggs and Mr Joe Soap? Why has the pendulum swung for one and not the other? Quite simply because Mr Joe Soap has sown into his life the desire to want to get well. He cared. And his family and friends cared. And he fought the battle. And now is winning the war. And with alcoholism it may be a war he’ll fight his entire life, but he will succeed because of what he has sown into his life.
Mr Joe Bloggs wants to be an alcoholic and he doesn’t care. The pendulum may never swing for him.
So, hubby and I have always battled financially. Oh, we have made it through from month-to-month, but we have always battled and have never been totally flush, but I believe the pendulum will swing in our favour. Why? Because we are constantly sowing the seeds of wealth, success and prosperity into our lives. How? Well, by working hard, making the contacts and getting a business off the ground. It is hard work, but that hard work and sowing the seeds is exactly what is needed for the pendulum to swing. How long will it take? Who knows? But I do believe that the longer it takes, the harder it swings – the more beneficial the reward. Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but I like to have faith.
And even with our marriage. The first nine years – before coming parents – were easy. In fact, they created a solid foundation for us, and people thought we were on honeymoon long after the event was over. However, since becoming parents, things have been stressful (you see, the pendulum had swung). Now, money worries take on even greater significance because we have a little one to take care of, the lack of sleep, the stress in trying to get all done around the house and to raise a child without a support system has made things a little hectic. And as a result, we don’t really have the time or energy to focus on our relationship. And of course, trying to sort out family feuds and politics didn’t help much at all. But, in that, the pendulum seems to be swinging back again.
There was a time in my daughter’s early life where everything was a blur and we didn’t have much time for each other at all. It was hectic – and no sleep was, well, let me just put it this way: I can quite understand why they use lack of sleep as a form of torture in the war. But, all the way through, where we could, hubby and I kept sowing into our marriage. And I think the pendulum is finally swinging back – our little one is sleeping better. We’ve both realised that awful lack of sleep phase was just that – a phase and we’re talking (or emailing) and trying where we can to connect and to reconnect. And we’re trying to focus on each other and fulfilling each other’s needs. Raising kids is flipping hard work and I admire people who do this two, three times over. But, I believe that what we put into our marriage, although we may not always see the results immediately, the seed has been sown and we will reap the benefit thereof. If not now, definitely in years to come.
I have sown many fat seeds into my life by always worrying if I’m going to eat and if I’m too skinny. And I believe the pendulum will swing for me as well as I am constantly sowing seeds of being fit and healthy into my life. I have joined Curves and really trying to eat healthy and better without freaking out about it. And I believe I will reap the benefit of it in time to come.
The key though – for me – is to care. And to never, ever give up.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.