Ebb and Flow the Remix: Feel in the Blanks

We make no attempts to control the ocean, we simply allow each wave to arrive at the moment it arrives. Some waves are gentle, perhaps small, and seemingly insignificant. Other waves are powerful and have the potential to completely submerge us as they crash upon the shore.

I’ve come to understand __________ in a similar way. Much like the ocean, __________ seems to continuously ebb and flow. Some waves are small and gentle; a memory that pops up out of nowhere, a song on the radio that reminds you of a __________, or a silly “sign” like seeing a dragonfly or hummingbird at the exact moment you were thinking of __________.

The gentle waves of __________ are easy. They may even feel good and we often allow them to flow into our consciousness. Like the ocean, however, the depths of __________ can be dark and the waves are not always gentle. We often fear the bigger waves and rather than simply allowing these waves to naturally flow in and then back out, we attempt to control them.

The bigger waves of __________ feel a lot like _________, __________, and sometimes even __________ because, _________________________________. In our attempts to control the bigger waves we cling tightly to the very feelings and emotions we are so desperately trying to control; the ones we are so desperately trying not to feel.

We become fearful of letting go, fearful of exploring the depths of our __________, and fearful of surrendering to the uncertainty of the wave. With each attempt to control our feelings, the situation, or the outcome, the wave grows more and more powerful.

We exhaust ourselves in the illusion of control and the fear of allowing ourselves to feel until we become trapped in the undertow of __________. Oftentimes, out of nowhere these waves hit us and all of our usual defenses fail and all that we fear comes unexpectedly crashing in.

The unexpected waves are always the scariest it seems (even the small ones). These waves you're not prepared for and it is hard to catch your breath. The waves keep coming one after the other until eventually, you realize the only choice you have is to either continue drowning within your fear or dive head-first into the wave, allowing its momentum to carry you to shore.

It hurts __________. It touches every part of your life and it forever changes you. You see life differently. For a moment (longer than I care to admit), I allowed __________ to harden me and I lived in silent fear of feeling anything. I was numb. It was only after drowning within my own __________ that I came to realize, I was never actually drowning in __________ but, in the illusion of control.

In not feeling all that I feared, I was also depriving myself of feeling the __________ I so deeply wanted to feel, a __________ that transcends all physical time and space, the ability to give and be open to receiving __________. The feeling of __________ that wanted nothing more than to continue.

One of my favorite authors, Gregory Bateson said, “…it takes two to know one.” In other words, to know what love is, we must also know what love is not. To know fear, we must also know courage. To know peace, we must also know turmoil. To know control, we must also know surrender, and to know life, we must also know death.

Like the ocean, the waves of __________ ebb and flow but the duality of __________ is ever present.

We would never fear __________, losing someone (literally or metaphorically), or the depths of our own __________ if we had not also (at some point), allowed ourselves to be __________ with another. That is beautiful and we are so worthy of feeling this (then and now) in spite of what our fears may tell us.

I have come to learn that sometimes in life, the light of one person can shine so bright that it continues to illuminate the darkest parts of our soul, even after their death.

____________is not the absence of __________ but a continuation of desiring __________. Allow them both to ebb and flow.

Originally published on June 3, 2021

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