Given the choice, we’d probably all wish for constant ups with no downs in life. We’d wish for sunny days and clear blue skies. We’d choose tranquil roads without speed bumps or ditches and potholes.
That’s not life. It’s not realistic and idealizing the romantic view of how we wish it could be robs us of the ability to make change with what is. “Reality” may not be fun to look at or admit, but avoiding it altogether leaves us stranded in a downpour without a backup plan.
Even when the onslaught of rain continues to pour down, if you have an umbrella, you have a place of respite and peace, a safe space to show up in the midst of the storm.
Navigating the ups and downs is an important lesson. One I learned through 3 days of hard labor… laboring to deliver my first child into this world. You read that right. From Friday to Sunday I was in labor with my 8 1/2 pound little girl. At first there were ups and downs to the contractions, to the pains, and then as her time to enter the world drew near, it changed.
Everything was up… constant contraction, constant pain, no time to breathe, and then as if dealt another bad hand I learned that all up and no down meant there was no progress. Literally.
You’d think that constant contraction would mean baby would come quicker, joy would come sooner, but it was the opposite. All up and no down. All contraction, no rest, meant no progress and danger.
So it goes with life. We need the middle ground to rest, when things are peaceful and calm. We need the highs when all is excitement and joy and adventure and journey. And we need the lows, without which we would be tempted to forget the gift we’ve been given, we would be apt to not realize how wonderful those high and mid-levels really are.
That’s my lesson for today. That’s my reminder. A gentle reminder to you as well.
- What’s your backup plan when you get caught out unexpected?
- Who can you share an umbrella with?
- How can you find safe spaces that feel sheltering (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually)?
I hope this space here and any other space I create and inhabit can be a shelter of sorts from storms that seem to batter us on all sides. We can hold each other up and weather the storm with some strong coffee, visual poetry and a lot of love and kindness.