Do you remember the joy you used to find in a simple, brightly coloured bouncing ball? How you used to shriek with delight as you and your friends relished in its playful unpredictability. Was it going to hit a stone on the ground and veer sharply left instead of into the intended cupped hands of your friend? Was it going to bounce so high that only your bedroom ceiling could withstand its upward soar with an audible ‘thud’? Or perhaps on your next throw, it would land on your plush, soft duvet and be unexpectedly stopped in its tracks– devoid of any bounce. There may even have been an occasion when it ricocheted off a wall, hitting you in the temple, resulting in tears and a hug from someone who cared about you.
Suppose we recognise that many of our childhood games were, in fact, the beginning of our life lessons. In that case, we will see that this little bouncy ball was part of the intriguing learning tapestry of life. Inadvertently, in these innocent years of playfulness, curiosity, trust and acceptance, we were learning about the so-called ups and downs of life.
Just like this bouncy ball, and as in life, our energy levels are up and down, and unpredictable. One minute you're soaring upwards prepared to break through any ceiling. At other times you find yourself on a surface that is so unsteady or soft that finding the momentum to bounce up feels impossible. You want to curl up in a ball, rather than replicate the one of your childhood.
That’s ok. You might feel like you’re bouncing off the wall, but in actual fact, fluctuating energy levels are normal. That’s life in all its messy glory, and we can’t control the array of life’s ‘visitors’ that arrive uninvited at our door. However, what we can do is control how we react to them by using learnt tools to protect our internal (and external) energy.
See the tools below as a First Aid Kit for your precious energy. Print them, keep them on hand, and even add any additional tools you may discover on your journey. We can collectively help others by sharing these tools – there are many amongst us fighting silent battles. We are not alone in these emotions.
Yes, life is up and down, unpredictable. But you knew that already. This is just your little reminder to know that that’s ok. You’re going to be ok. Just like that bouncy ball – you may have a few knicks and dents from playing the game of life, but you’re still whole, effervescently bright, and will ALWAYS bounce back!
We must express our emotions; if not, they will stay suppressed and drain our energy. Remember, feeling sad is part of life. It is not something we should feel ashamed of, and it WILL pass. Remember, you are more precious and valuable in your imperfection – the philosophy of Kintsugi (Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold lacquer) teaches us to value an object’s beauty, as well as its imperfections, focusing on them equally as something to celebrate, not disguise. In fact, if we are authentic and honest, it gives others permission to do the same.
If it all feels too much, please reach out to me or someone that you trust.