So it is with my life sometimes. There is a decline in my emotional state followed or preceded by an emotional high – a forward motion. I often experience a seesaw effect.
There are many positive times, when the river is flowing, when it is present, when all is right with the world. The sun is shining – even in the winter, and the birds are singing cheerful songs outside my window as I snuggle up to the warmth inside.
And then there is the season of the ebb, the decline, the absence, when hope seems to have flowed away with the tide. At these times all I am aware of, all I am conscious of is the uncomfortable rocks, stones and pebbles at the bottom of the riverbed that I feel on the soles of my bare feet.
It is tempting to remember the ebbs in my life more than the flow as when I am in the drought it seems more pronounced. When I am visited by the reality of a lack in my life I stop and think. Sadness often accompanies these thoughts as my heart becomes thirsty for whatever it is I am missing at the time. This is usually the company of a particular person. A person who no longer features in my life in the way I wish they did. At times like this I either go into myself or reach out to friends.
I fight against my own internal tide. It is often hard to make myself reach out when I feel vulnerable, but I am learning to do so. It has proved to be better for me to talk to someone when I feel low. Failing communicating my feelings to a friend, sometimes accompanied by tears and halting sentences, I will find another activity to take my mind of the subject. I know that dwelling on that dry area, that past area, of my life will not bring forth fruit for me in my present presence so I make a resolution:
right now I grasp the weakness in me and send it out to sea.
If I stay with my sad memories I am allowing the matters that I am pondering to become a major part of my internal life. By constantly including the sadness in my thoughts I am giving it the ability to change me. It’s never easy, but it does get less painful with time. Even where I am now, how I feel today, I never thought that I’d reach this position when I first stood in the dry riverbed with only my tears for company. I know I still have a long way to go, but I feel I am moving in the right direction. A positive healthy destination for me.
When my life has swung towards the ebbing times I have reached back into my memory for an occasion when I felt presence not absence. A time when I was conscious of happiness in the ordinary things of everyday life. I reach into my immense sea of happy memories and reflect the blissful moments that I have experienced …and there are so many.
I have a tendency to forget this fact or not want to remember it when I am clouded with sadness. But it is usual that by the time I have revisited and enjoyed these events, the experience that seemed like a dry riverbed will have passed away.
And I will again be present in the bountiful flow of my life.
I will be the river that reshapes my own landscape.