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The Ebb & Flow Of Life!

Today was one of those days when I woke up and for no apparent reason I was feeling a little lower in spirits than usual. I began to wonder why. Maybe it’s the cold, rainy, dreary weather and lack of sunshine as winter officially sets in. Maybe it’s a subtle feeling of discouragement as I come up against obstacles along the path to my dream and as I focus on how far I have yet to go to my goal. Perhaps it’s a combination of fears that have crept into my subconscious and affected my mood. Fear of failure is always high on the list and then of course, there’s fear of everything that comes with success. Or maybe it’s a bout of loneliness that triggered my fear of never finding the relationship I long for and of being alone for the failure or the success. Blah blah blah!
Ok that’s enough. This is how our minds work a lot of the time and if we don’t catch ourselves, we can get completely submerged in destructive thinking.

There are two levels to this pattern. The first is that when I wake up feeling a slight change in my mood, my first response is to assume that something is wrong and to go hunting for a reason. Well, we’re all professionals at that and when we go in search of evidence for why we’re feeling down, we’re bound to come up with plenty of great stories. Oh how we love our stories!

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.

Much love,

Chris

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Chris Assaad is a rad singer/songwriter and a TDL reader. Check out his website here.

  • Jeff Mendelsohn

    thanks for your blog today;  I too have challenges with loneliness, emptiness and stuckness at times.  Your comments are right.  I will affirm today that when those times arise I will reach out more for family, journals, and friends;  :)

  • http://twitter.com/IamCre8tiveSoul Erin Madore

    Hi Chris, great article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. When I was growing up I always feared the darker days and feelings, which is understandable for a child. But as I’ve grown into an adult I’ve learned to pause and reflect rather than run from those darker days. Instead of pretending they don’t happen or escaping into a bottle of wine I let myself feel sadness, grief and anger and as a result I usually get through them stronger. 

    Btw, I really like this one specific part: “to build up our spiritual endurance”. I think this is something we can work on as a society. 

    Thanks again for sharing.

  • Bookmark29

    Synchronicity is sure at work here for me. I have been awake, lying in bed when I should be sleeping, feeling low about some ex-husband/family junk, trying to talk myself out of my gray feelings, profoundly uncomfortable and headed for a low place on my mind. I sent up a plea to the universe to help me out here, help me to let go, and then I read this article. I have been batting away my feelings, smacking at them, trying to keep them away from me, when the solution is to simply let them flow through me. It’s okay to feel what I’m feeling. My feelings are valid. Fighting them never makes them disappear, so I am giving up the struggle and letting them flow through. All the while knowing that sunshine is soon to come. As it always does in the ebb and flow balance of life. Thank you for the perfect words at the perfect time.

  • Shema J.

    Amazing read. Something that I definitely needed to stumble upon this morning. Thank you Chris! You’re always such a big inspiration to us all; you & Mastin’s articles are what keep me positive & inspired to follow through on this journey. You guys simply let us know that we’re not alone on these journeys & we’re all learning this together along the way.

    Have an awesome day! Cheers.

  • Jana

    Wow…I’m always amazed at how the universe confirms my very thoughts…thank you for sharing, thank you for confirming.  xo, Jana

  • Nads

    thank you Chris, I needed this badly today, some memories and moods from my past have been haunting me lately and depression is creeping up with them… this article is amazing and helped me a lot, thanks again!

  • Char-7728

    Awesome

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  • Chbooth007

    Insightful & inspiring thank you!!!!

  • free2bme

    Thank you SO much.  There’s no doubt in my mind that I was meant to stumble across this article today.  Your opening paragraph described perfectly how I felt earlier this week and many times before.  I’ve been on somewhat of a journey of soul searching and self discovery and am learning slowly but surely how to truly love “Me” and all that encompasses.
    It is comforting and inspiring to know that I  am not alone. ..
    Blessings. …

  • Usha Prabhakar

    A very nice article Chris. Resistance always creates unhappiness and to go with the flow brings harmony or at least lets us slide smoothly with the ebb and flow of life. In one of the network marketing meetings I attended a speech made by one of the leaders left an indelible impression on my mind and just wanted to share my thoughts here. She compared our moods to the yearly seasons and talked about how to cope with our moods just the way we cope with the different seasons in the year – spring, summer, Fall and Winter. Each season has its challenges and strengths we can take advantage of . If we are sensitive, we can experience these moods of creativity, cheerfulness, contemplation and rest even in a single day. ‘This too shall pass’ is the best attitude to adopt. At the same time getting prepared for a brighter tomorrow is always hopeful and rejuvenating.