When you have had enough opportunities to practice cultivating the witness that you can apply it to the things that happen in your life, the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions can be a pretty interesting ride. A ride that reveals a lot of truth and important lessons that you might need to receive.
In the end, there is gratitude for the ride, even though parts of it can totally shake you up inside.
I love amusement parks and roller coasters are my favorite, even though sometimes during the experience I have moments when I question my judgment about ever getting on! That was my day recently, and let me tell you, I jumped on a “roller coaster” that easily could have been named Foot in Mouth.
That’s exactly what I did that sent me reeling through a wild ride of emotions. Forgetting to be mindful of my words seemed to be the theme of the park I was in on this whirlwind day when I said something without thinking that could have hurt someone in the room.
It was a Friday, so that left the whole experience churning for the entire weekend. A weekend that, for me, had a lot of free space in it and not too much to distract me from all the things I was feeling. I was in for quite a ride. Come along for a while…
As my roller coaster climbed up that first big hill so slowly that it seemed like torture, a million thoughts raced through my head about what I had just said without thinking or looking around the room. How could I do that? Oh no! I may have offended someone. What are all these other people in the room thinking? Why do I have to be so loud and dramatic? Stop beating yourself up about this! How can I make it right?
Then, that first big drop happened. You know it. It’s the one that you know is coming but still takes your breath away and makes your heart and stomach switch places. Remorse. Embarrassment. Tears. Where can I hide? Can’t somebody please just tell me it’s going to be okay?
The ride always reaches a smooth point where it’s easier to take. Ah yes, I can breathe. I take a deep breath and walk over to the person who received the “kick” from that foot that eventually found its way to my mouth. I tell her “Wow, this was MY lesson about choosing my words. I’m so sorry.”
Most roller coaster rides are fast and over before you can figure out what you were so afraid of in the first place. That apology could have been the end of the ride. But no. This was like I had the fast pass at Hersheypark and kept jumping back in line. Do I want to get back on this ride? The next ride brought doubt when my friend texted me that night to support me because he knew I was upset. Here comes the first corkscrew turn that twists you all up inside. Should I even say more than thanks to him? If I say more than that will it seem like I’m over explaining myself? I choose to say that I don’t even know what to say right now and find a distraction. I need a rest from the roller coaster for a while.
When the roller coaster is my mind, the break doesn’t last very long. I get back in line the next day because this time I have two close friends by my side who jump on with me, and they know my history with finding the courage to face a “scary ride” head on. This time around, the loop that flips me upside down is the slowest part of the ride. It. Lasts. Forever. And bonus, this roller coaster sends me backwards through the track once I reach a certain point (there is actually a coaster at Hersheypark that does this!). Oh no, what if I made a mistake putting myself out there this past year? Maybe I should tone it down and get off this ride. Maybe it’s too much. Have I let myself go too far? Stop! I don’t want to go backwards after I’ve done all this work. What’s happening?
The ride always comes back to the smooth spot where I catch my breath again and realize exactly what is going on. Well hello ego! I didn’t see you jump in the car with me. You hid yourself pretty well for a while. Hear this Ms. Ego, you may be laughing because you’ve kept me screaming my head off throughout all these twists and turns, but guess what? Everyone else forgot about that big drop as soon as they walked away and headed toward the cotton candy stand. Now that I know it’s you, I’m following them on the walk away from this ride. Whew!
Sometimes when dealing with the tough stuff of life, it may take some time. You may have some discomfort making your way through the roller coaster ride of emotions; that battle between your ego and what you know to be your true self. It sure is sweet, though, when you find yourself there in line for your treat, having leaned into every twist, turn, drop, and flip upside down. You’re feeling ready to move on and let the experience melt away, just like that fluffy candy melts in your mouth. You may have spent a fair amount of time on one ride, but you know that you fully experienced everything that just moved inside you. And you’re a stronger, even steadier person for it.
Hello and thanks for reading! I’m Amy, and like you, I am both a teacher and a student every day. I am grateful to teach a variety of subjects, including yoga, mindfulness, essential oils, and Spanish. I am a Pennsylvania native and have been practicing using all of these empowering tools for many years. I’m a constant seeker of balance in my own life and enjoy nothing more than weaving all of these passions together and sharing them via classes, workshops, writing, and more to serve others as they bring balance to their lives, too. I also love infusing these gifts into my work as a public school educator. I would love to share more with you – connect with me at www.balanceformylife.com