There are not many guarantees in life. However, here’s one – life will have both ups and downs.
The fallacy that some of us buy into is that the least amount of ‘downs’ is an assurance of a happy life. But that is simply not true. Life isn’t about the number of ups and downs a person experiences as much as it is about how smoothly we ride these inevitable hills and valleys.
Recognizing a Down Period in Your Life
Recently, I have been going through what I would label as a down period in my life. Something that I was looking forward to happening has turned out to now be highly unlikely. Initially, my reaction was one of sadness, frustration and even anger. I felt ripped off and I convinced myself that I was the only person who ever had to experience such disappointing news. I heard a lot of “poor me” self-talk going on in my head.
Change the Focus from that Specific Event to Your Life as a Whole
Once I caught myself doing this. I kicked myself in the butt. I told myself to get out of the narrow focus that fixating on the disappointment creates.From that vantage point I saw nothing other than the down side. I spent some time expanding my focus, pulling back and getting my perspective to be anchored in the middle ground of my life.
From this vantage point, I could see my life in its entirety, my past and my future and from that perspective I could then appreciate that this “change of plans” was just one of the many detours that my life has taken already or will likely take in the future. It was no longer the pivotal moment that would define my entire life. It was no longer the one event that would change everything. And then something magical happened. The event lost its negativity. And I was able to start imagining how this event may open up new opportunities that I could not even conjure up right now. How this “change in plans” may make my future life even better.
Our Ups and Downs Are the Spice of Life
These ups and downs in life is what gives our life colour, story, direction and even humour. Imagine being on a teeter totter and you only stay in the up position, you never experience coming down and seeing the ride from that position. You would lose so much of the ride’s excitement. You would not experience the anticipation of going up again and being at the top. What a dull and uneventful ride it would be! Who would want to experience that?
So, the next time you or I are riding the down portion of our teeter totter life, let’s remember that, like being at the high point, the down point also won’t last forever. And it is the experiencing of both extremes, the up an