Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sometimes You're the Windshield

And sometimes you're the bug.

Does your life feel like a rollercoaster sometimes? I don't mean an unstable-need-therapy kind of rollercoaster, but just an up-and-down-and-around kind of ride. Sometimes I take on the feelings of people I talk to--I've cried and laughed with you, and I've felt your pain and your happiness. This, honestly, can make or break my work day (I try really hard to have my own life when I go home and let all of it go!). The past two days have swung me between ecstatic bliss and heart wrenching sadness as I rode other peoples' rollercoasters.

Generally, we view life through our own personal lenses. We are focused on our own little rollercoasters, and we ride them at our own pace and with varying levels of interpretation and coping skills. Being a wellness coach, I get to see life from many varying perspectives. One thing I have realized is that our feelings are all the same, regardless of what causes them. One person's grief regarding death is as real as another person's grief regarding the loss of a job or fight with a friend. We can't change what life deals to us (I don't think), but we can work at opening our perspective up beyond our own bubble of life.

There is a movie called Elizabethtown (the movie is terrible, but this message struck me as important) with a line of advice saying, "take 5 minutes to wallow in melancholy, then get over it and move on."

Sometimes you can do this.

Sometimes you can't.

The most important part seems to be distinguishing between the two types of situations for yourself. If and when you can, smooth out the rollercoaster for yourself. If and when you can't, just ride it through in whatever way you need to.

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