In a year plus of massive transition and upheaval, this week has been especially so. In light of those dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane, none of it was life-threatening or cataclysmic. But it still was a force multiplier of emotions that left me weary and raw — but also hopeful and grateful.
Here’s a summary of the week:
- Our older son Logan and daughter-in-law Sarah moved from Austin back to Portland.
- Our younger son Caden moved into his own place here in Austin.
- Lynna and I moved to a new place and spent our first night as “empty nesters”. (An aside, I really dislike that term. Any suggestions on a better descriptor?)
- Several other key relationships were full of tension, testing and conflict. These are relationships that have been a lifeblood to me so to have them disrupted was especially painful.
Oh … and I still had a business to co-run, clients to coach, spiritual practices to continue, adulting to do.
All of these combined to create a sense of low tide. I had previously hated these low tide moments: when our first son moved out, the passing of my grandparents — plus many other low tide moments in relationships and situations. In each case, I tended to go numb during the low tide moments. I felt exposed and vulnerable. Like everyone could see my scars, the debris, the hidden wreckage. I wanted to hide, lash out, cover up.
At best, these low tide moments were something to endure, something to overcome. So I tried to rush through them — like rushing would bring back the high tide. The low tide moments caused me to harshly judge myself for feeling the way I felt. They also carried a series of triggers that caused me to be hurtful to the people I most love.
This week was different. But I didn’t realize how different until sitting in my new thinking/reflection spot in our new home. In this week of upheaval, my mantra was “find the joy in each moment”. For the most part, I did. There were moments of feeling exposed, but I expressed them. There were moments I lashed out, but I asked for forgiveness. In the process of finding joy in each moment, I had three epiphanies:
- Yes, the low tide exposes scars and debris and even some death. But it also exposes treasure, nourishment, discoveries. All of which are impossible in high tide.
- No two low tides are the same. The natural process of drawing back and being exposed always appears differently. Yes, some of the same landmarks. But always different treasures and different debris.
- The high tide always returns. Always.
My intention is to continue my new-found embrace of low tide moments. I want to use them to practice gratitude, awareness, patience — especially in the low tide moments of relationships. I am certain these are the treasures that the low tide brings every day.