Life is full of ups and downs and the trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage for the downs?
Well, that statement is totally true, the real question is: How the fuck do you actually get through the downs? Rockin’ the ups is easy, but when the downs get you so low. . . how the hell do you actually climb back out? This has been my journey for the last six weeks.
Another quote I read was ironic really, it states that, “If your not going through the ups and downs of life, that means your dead.”
Well, I am the furthest thing from dead….as my ups in 2017 were some the best ups I have ever had. Literally, the gratitude that flowed from my heart during this past summer was unbelievable. Meeting and falling in love with truly, the man of my dreams, buying my dream house, and the LAUGHTER – the laughter was out of control. Every day brought another inspiration to dance, laugh and just totally be in love with life.
Being happy and in a positive state of mind really does heal everything and as my body healed with the help of a great, intuitive doctor, I was able to turn my health around and feel like myself again. My mind was on fire. I learned a new beauty skill that pushed my ability as a makeup artist, and learning something new opened up my creativity. I surfed great waves, reunited with my surf sisters and had so many beautiful brides that I was totally stoked with life! I was rockin’ it!
Then came the downs . . . oh boy, did them come, and non-stop. I feel like the universe looked at me and said, “Nope, you are having way too much fun, you need a good swift kick in the head and heart!” Well, the universe kicked hard.
It began with the call that my mother was sick and in the hospital, was followed by a misunderstanding and heartbreak with my partner, and then throw in a shit ton of work and the Christmas holidays (which always stresses people out and makes them weird). Add to that a friend who is now paralyzed and another one with brain cancer. But wait, that was not enough! The universe really wanted me to go DOWN, so it hit me with a flu and lung infection that could flatten a train, and oh, did it flatten me. After three weeks of antibiotics, steroids, inhalers and every natural, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, healing tonic I could find, I finally had one day of feeling kinda like myself. But, nope, the universe wanted me to stay DOWN! No feeling good or having fun for you, it said! WHAM, you’re down, bitch! That was the evening that my mother passed on.
How much can you cry, between heartbreak, sickness and death? I did not even think that my body could produce so many tears. Does the universe balance how much you cry with how much you laugh? I am seriously beginning to think it might! I feel it must be a universal law of energy balance, that each soul experiences the highs and the lows. So, a person who is happy, laughing and loving life cannot be like that all the time. If a person only experienced happiness 24/7, they would eventually come to not cherish it, so there must be times in life when we feel sadness, pain and fear. Courage helps you move forward or climb out of a down period, but I feel what you really need is strength. Strength to keep going no matter how low you feel. You also have to rely on your faith, the faith that “this too shall pass”. The quote that kills me is “the universe only gives you what you can handle.” This is crap! The universe gives us exactly what we need so that we can grow and evolve, but also so that we can share it with others. The downs are not to balance the ups, they are our gifts in our evolution. The ups are the celebration of that fact that we survived the downs and have learned our lessons, at least temporarily, until we need to learn more!
In Mayan astrology there is a time period called your personal wavespell. (check out this link, amazing website)
It’s a period of 13 days that occurs every 260 days. During these special 13 days, the universal energy sets you up to reflect and regroup on what your life and soul purpose is. I have found over the years that every time I have my wavespell, I gain some great insight and it’s a very transformative time. Aka, if the shit is going to go down, it usually happens over these days. My lessons really began during my last wavespell and the downward slide was fast and harsh! But, I have looked back on those days and what I wrote, and my big soul questions and answers revolved around writing and sharing my experiences. I was also blessed to spend some time with my friend who is now paralyzed and this experience was life-changing. When I walked out of the hospital it was like I no longer had problems, because I didn’t. I could breathe and I could walk, which we all take for granted every day. Suddenly, my heartbreak and relationship hurt was minor, and most importantly, it was totally repairable. So, repair it I did!
It took my mother’s passing, plus being deathly ill, to actually get to the real reason why the universe was throwing me all the shit. It wanted me to remember my life purpose and until I was back on track, that downward slide was not going to stop. There is a strange feeling of abandonment when you no longer have both parents, so unbelievably strange that only others who have lost both parents can truly understand. It took several days after my mother’s passing for me to actually hear it – what was I not doing? How am I not fulfilling my life’s purpose? Interestingly, the answer is in what I am doing right now . . . writing. Just how had I gotten so off track, so wrapped up in life and in making people pretty that I avoided doing what I am meant to? Which is share the lessons, the laughter, the beauty, and all the insight and adventures that go with it. It took a few days to brush off the keyboard and put myself back into this headspace of blogging . . . lots of tears, music and thought, lots of thought. But, with each keystroke I have felt better. The rollercoaster of life is no longer on the downhill and I am not screaming in pain and fear anymore. The coaster is slowing climbing back up the hill and I am slowly beginning to get excited at the thought of how I will feel when I am screaming my head off in exhilaration at the top.
Tips to help pull yourself back up, because the only one who can do it is you!
- Surround yourself with photos and/or have your friends send you photos that make you smile and laugh! Fun and loving memories trigger an emotional response of feeling good.
- Allow yourself some time to heal, grieve, hide out and/or avoid. Distractions can sometimes be good during a time of shock, when you’re overwhelmed with grief and sadness. This is where Netflix, video games and trashy novels have a genuine purpose. The distraction will get you through the initial shock/pain until you are emotionally ready to deal with the grief. BUT . . . there is a warning with this, the distraction will only last for a short time and it keeps you down. Eventually, the only way back up is to deal with what you are feeling.
- Ironically, wine is not the solution! Really, seriously! Yup, it’s not! Thankfully, I don’t have any urge to drink or eat when I am in the down zone (hilarious really)! When I am down I get skinny, when I am stressed I get fat and puffy. It is amazing how we deal with our shit! But truly, alcohol/drugs just make it way, way worse. And, of course they do, because drugs and alcohol are depressants, even the ones that are supposed to make you happy. They all work on your subconscious, so if the inside of you is sad, the drug is only going to make it worse. Hence, the drunken meltdown. Plus, you are going to feel even shittier the next day, and do you really need to feel any worse than you already do?
- Music! This is a big one. Dig out all the playlists that you normally sing and dance to and listen to them all the time! Sad songs, love songs, sing them and let the tears flow. Here’s a great one by Moby: . Then play the songs that make you dance. . . it may just be a head nod or toe tap, but these songs will remind you of the good times.
- Say yes to your friends when they offer support. This is a hard one for me, because when I am sad, I become a recluse and I don’t like to be a downer around others. But, as my girlfriend reminded me, I am the first one to drop everything to console others in their time of sadness/grief, so let your friends/partners be there for you. Even if it is just to rub your back when you cry, and at some point, they will make you laugh as well.
One of the many questions I pondered during the past six weeks was: Did the universe kick me in the head because I was not grateful enough for my ups? Or was the kick in the head and the spiral downwards just part of the ebb and flow of my life cycle? You can NEVER be too grateful for everything in your life, so the answer to that is a yes!
And the downs are our wake-up calls to keep us on our life path, and are actually way more important then the ups! It is when you are in the shit that you have your greatest clarity! I wish there was an easier way, but obviously we are not evolved enough to learn our lessons the easy way. So, harass your inner strength during the downs and trust and listen to your inner voice. Trust that random thought, the voice, the answer, or the reminder that each of us has a purpose in this life and all that truly matters is that we fulfill it. It is our responsibility first, to find our purpose, and then second, to do it, and keep doing it no matter what gets in the way.
Life is like a rollercoaster with its ups and downs but it is your choice to either scream in fear or enjoy the ride. I am grateful that I actually do enjoy the crazy, exhilarating and scary ride we call life.
This blog post is dedicated to my mother . . . a woman who had a lot of shit in her life but always laughed, right up until her last breath! I love you, Mom, thank you for always guiding me!