This little phrase has so many possible meanings and I thought I’d explore a few with you.
First, is the obvious one, a bird cannot live underwater nor can a fish live out of the water so in this scenario it simply wouldn’t work. A person can fall in love with another person that has totally different needs and desires to live life and in a scenario like this while love may be present it doesn’t always make a good relationship. Do you know anyone in a relationship like this?
The Second is slightly less obvious, a bird can fly down perch on a rock and spend the day with the fish. At the end of the night be able to perch in a nearby tree and watch over the fish. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a relationship, where we love the person and we spend time with the person, but there seems to be an invisible and sometimes tangible divide. In the case of the bird and fish, it is the water. In the case of people, it can be insecurities, distance, paradigms, religion, etc.
Third, the bird can plunge into the water and try to co-exist with the fish only to die a short time later, but enjoy what little time they had. Conversely, the bird could carry the fish through the air to a nest only to find that the fish had died upon arrival. As people, we often try to make sacrifices to be with another, but we cannot sacrifice the things we need to live. You end up in a toxic environment that may feel fresh and new at first, but kills you in the end. Some relationships can be toxic and simply not meant to be and no matter how hard you try to adapt – it simply won’t work.
Fourth, the bird can signify someone of wealth and the fish can signify someone of mediocre means. These two people can indeed fall in love, but not without one making some changes. The rich person may need to sacrifice their wealth (in the case of a prince) to be with a “peasant”. Or the “peasant” may need to sacrifice what they know and adapt to a lifestyle of manners, etiquette, and having money – it may seem like an easy transition, but it isn’t at all. You see the peasant isn’t used to the glitz and glamor that the rich have – although they may long for it – once they obtain it they cannot adjust to the pace of that lifestyle. Someone who is so focused on money has different priorities than someone who is focused on service and while they may be in love it doesn’t mean the relationship is “healthy”.
A more religious metaphor, we could be talking about a lesson in humility, like when GOD (the bird) became Jesus to experience the woes of man. GOD surrendered his divinity; came down from the clouds and was birthed as a man so that he/she may experience the struggles, the phrases (in prayer he couldn’t relate to), mortality, ego, etc. You see, GOD, loves mankind but didn’t understand their plight, complaints, needs, etc. for GOD needed nothing, hungered for nothing, never tired, never stressed, never was homeless, never born, never died, never suffered. So when GOD, entered as Jesus, he humbled GOD-Self to experience and bleed with the love of his life – mankind (the fish). While here, he demonstrated the importance of authentic listening and being empathic to one another. He gave of himself and taught mankind that they were “equal unto him” and capable of doing greater things than him. However, we arrested him, tried him, and crucified him – mankind, SACRIFICED GOD. And biblically (depending on whose account) the day went dark for 3 hours, the ground shook, dead saints walked again, the temple curtain tore in two, etc. However, after 3 days, he walked out of the tomb and among people for forty days before he ascended to Heaven – a more aware GOD because he could now relate and understand temptation and all that mankind faces so that he can be with you in your moments of doubt, insecurity, struggle, fear, etc and walk with you through it.
I’ll leave you with one final sentiment. What if; The bird held the fish in its loving embrace and carried the fish in the air for brief moments only to return it to the water? Moreover, what if the bird occasionally dove into the water (briefly) only to return to the air moments later? Yin / Yang?
Just because we love someone doesn’t mean we are meant to be in a relationship with that person. And so it is also true, that just because love is present doesn’t mean that struggles won’t be. It means that through love you will find a way and sometimes that way is through the door and that is okay. You aren’t meant to suffocate in a relationship or change the nature of who and what you are – you have to find relationships that honor you and allow you to be you and your spouse to be them.
The bird can not make the fish a bird nor the fish make the bird a fish – so this relationship could never really work without sacrifice. The question becomes is the sacrifice worth it? For Jesus, it was…for a woman that stayed in an abusive relationship it wasn’t.
So for those having relationship troubles ask yourself, “Is this a bird in love with a fish story?”
What’s funny is after years of dealing with spirits and listening to them as well as the living I’ve learned people get involved in a relationship for a variety of reasons; to save someone, to change someone, to help someone, to evolve with someone, for money, for fame, for a name, for citizenship, the sex, etc.
We all have needs that must be met (requirements) and needs that can be forfeit (wants/wish) and aren’t deal-breakers. A bird cannot grow gills nor a fish wings to fly so if these two fall in love they do so knowing it’s at a significant price – it’s up to them if they are willing to pay it.
Relationships are based on many factors besides love; communication, understanding, empathy, passion, listening skills, ability to make sacrifices, wants and desires, personal needs, willingness to grow (evolve), and the willingness to work together (compromise).
I find that relationships that are about evolving with each other are the ones that last a lifetime because both are pouring themselves into it. If you can imagine, two pitchers full of water, being poured out simultaneously – where the water blends together and becomes one solid yet fluid stream – that’s the goal of a relationship.