Nothing is permanent. The goodness in life passes in the same way the bad periods slithers by or sticks to our awareness. Positive emotions and experiences leaves a good taste long lingering in my mouth, but it can be rudely interrupted and all too quickly be contaminated by the next onslaught of pessimism.
I swing widely between the poles of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ judgement, rarely receiving the respite which a balanced, middle ground provides. Take for example the last 24 hours. This time yesterday I was curled up in bed, steeped in self pity. I felt so ashamed and selfish wasting a whole day doing nothing to help make me feel better. I knew I needed to do the housework, go food shopping, have a shower, go for a walk, meet some friends, go to mass, send emails ….. the list went on and on. I was feeding my negative emotion and allowing it to gain nourishment from each moment spent lying in that bed. I was down in the depths of my emotional rating, and I honestly thought that I was the biggest failure on the planet that I should just give up on life and that nobody would care if I was gone.
Then I wake up today, still feeling the hangover of negativity surround my aura. I dragged myself to an interview for some potential writing experience with a local newsletter. It took every morsel of energy to find the motivation. It was raining, ‘typical’ I thought. I missed the Bus; I was convinced it was a sign. I didn’t have the full address; I should just give up, it’s not going to work out anyway. It really was a miracle I got there in the end. I hadn’t even researched the organisation, certain that it would be a waste of time as I would never get the job.
If I look back and evaluate the emotion I was experiencing, I was really nervous. Fear wanted me to run home and hide away, to avoid, sabotaging any chance at a life worth living. But being the suborn mule that I can be sometimes, and because I had told some people about the interview, I felt I must go, even if to say I went.
I actually found the place with relative ease, and was greeted by two lovely ladies who seemed interested in me and appreciative of what I could potentially bring to the organisation. We brainstormed ideas and I felt excitement build up in my tummy. The more I talked to the two lovely ladies there, the more confident I felt in my abilities. I could really do this. They really do like my ideas. To my delight, they asked me to contribute to the June issue and gave me a deadline for submission next week.
Walking towards the bus stop I felt elated with happiness. I felt like I had overcome the fear which stops me from doing so much in my life, like I had climbed a personal mountain. I was propelled into a heightened state of positive emotion, a world away from the foul mood I had been in only hours before. I grinned childless to the bus driver and sent a barrage of texts and emails to friends and family bombarding them with my good news.
Now that the initial exhilaration of this morning’s achievement had subsided slightly, and I am not so ruled by my emotional instability, I can see how exhausting this yo-yoing of emotion is to my emotional stamina. If I try hard to be dialectical in my thinking about today’s events, taking into account the importance of living in the moment, I guess the middle ground might be as follows;
I spent the day resting in bed yesterday, even though I had a lot to do. By doing this I was reminded that staying in bed all day negatively affects my mood. I do need to lie in sometimes, but next time I might only rest for the morning, and get some tasks done in the afternoon. I allowed my bad mood to continue into today. Each day is a new page in my life. I can start afresh if I do not hold onto the past. It was a great achievement to obtain the job this morning. Congratulate yourself. Now move on to concentrating on the rest of today’s tasks.
I aim for this balanced way of thinking in all my endeavours. When I read it back I don’t feel any overwhelming emotion either positive or negative. I just want to move onto this afternoon. I have a focus group to attend which has nothing to do with the newsletter.
Have you ever had a similar experience? How do you stay centred?