Sunday, January 2, 2011

Surmounting Life’s Ebbs and Flows


Could it just be that life is about heightening the ebbs and flattening the flows? Many people wrangle with their emotions—the highs and lows. The highs are not seen as a problem most of the time, but they predict the imminent lows more than we think.

Life’s best when under even keel.

Managing such a simple goal, however, can seem impossible. It’s only after a howler—when back at square-one—that people face the enormity of their failures. It’s the wrong time to criticise ourselves; to put the boots in when we’re down.

Flattening the Flows

We’re apt to want the high times magnified, especially in a pleasure-seeking culture. Too much is never enough, right? Well, that’s the plain wrong premise. Seeking highs and wanting to draw them out is a bad way to live the good life. This is known as soon as the fun finishes.

It’s better to accept there will be rosy flows in life, but that they won’t last—they’re to be appreciated. This way the flow is taken for what it is; a temporary situation of ‘blessing,’ which once gone means we’ll be adapting to normality again.

This helps us heighten the ebbs; it ushers balance.

Heightening the Ebbs

It’s not natural to welcome the low times. Yet, if we treat these situations the same as the high times—and accept them for what they are; temporary situations—then we’ll have mastered our emotion.

Heightening the ebbs is seeing the good things of life, despite the depression that exists; that raucous cloud. This can be achieved mechanically, using the will. It’s a choice to see the blessings in the midst of what seems cursed. These are always there; just hidden from ready view.

Balance: the Key to Joy

Joy and happiness are two different things, though they’ll always be associated.

The best thing about joy is it’s not knocked off its pedestal easily. Joy—its stock and trade—is resilience and acceptance for what is... and happiness come what may.

So, joy is a learned thing and it’s a choice. The basis of it is heightening the ebbs and flattening the flows.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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