Life is full of highs and lows. Sometimes it’s helpful to know that for most of us, both the highs and the lows don’t last too long.
I remember one day not too long ago that I was in a grumpy mood. My day was really busy, and on top of that, I was having car problems. I went to get my car inspected, but there were multiple things wrong with it. Since it was a foreign car, I had to take it to a different place to get it fixed. I had to pay a bunch of money, rush to a meeting and back to the mechanic again, and I wasn’t able to bring my car back to get inspected because a few systems had to reset overnight. It was a bad day.
The very next day, I was offered a book contract on a proposal I had been waiting on. I jumped up and down and pumped my fist in the air. I called my co-authors and we congratulated each other and felt good about ourselves. The day looked bright and there was a skip in my step. It was a good day.
That’s kind of how life goes. It’s a mixed bag. We experience success and failure, excitement and despair, love and isolation. Our feelings fluctuate, sometimes very quickly. As humans, we have the privilege and responsibility to navigate all that.
One principle I have been trying to apply to my life recently is to temper my reaction to good and bad things. I have been trying not to get too high or too low. When something good happens, I enjoy it but try not to let my feet leave the ground. And when something bad happens, I experience my sad, angry, or scared feelings, but try to remember that this too shall pass.
Because it usually does.
Life is a mix of the good and the bad. Sometimes I have a tendency to think that life is all good or all bad, depending on my circumstances in the present moment. Sometimes I wish that life was all good, and that it would stay that way.
But it never does.
Trying to deny that life is both good and bad doesn’t make the bad go away. It just makes me frustrated. So I’m trying to accept both, knowing that the highs and lows are temporary and tend to fluctuate back and forth.
Discussion: What would it look like for you to accept both the good things and the bad things? The highs and the lows? What would it look like to accept those things, knowing that your situation has a tendency to change at any given moment?