Allow me space and grace to be authentic. There are times when I am on the upswing; everything is going well. I am accomplishing, feeling great about life, opportunities are looking for me, and my bag is secure. Then there is the downswing. OMG, the downswing. It feels like everything is upside down. Business is slow, children are different, energy is low, and I need a break. Yes, I got six jobs, but I get tired. I have found that when the pendulum is on the downswing, I need to rest and recalibrate. That is not a time to try to force things to happen. That is a time to center me and indulge in self-care. I can set goals, create visions, and make them plain, but those are the times to cease work to come back stronger mentally. If we prepare for the downswing during the upswing, desperation will not take over, and we can enter into rest.
I've gone through a lot, and I've learned to abase and abound. I know how good it feels to be up and how depressing it can feel when I'm down. The goal is to count it all joy despite the swing, and preparation is vital. Mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally prepare for these times so that you will stand. I know it is fantastic to be strong all the time, but that is not reality. Being yourself behind the scenes as well as when playing the lead role is integral. There is no need to pretend for anyone when God sees the internal struggle. We are most effective when we are true to ourselves. Life will happen, there will be ups and downs, your perception and preparation will keep you. It is okay to prepare; that does not mean your faith is small. Even Jesus said he had to go away to prepare a place.
Take a moment to understand that balance requires leveling, and with leveling, the scale will tilt up and down. In the process of leveling, there will be high points leaving some areas low. Until you have reached optimal balance during those intense moments, lean on your support system to maintain mental and emotional health. You can also build resilience through thoughtful actions; ask yourself, will this decision help or hinder me when you are up? If you question every decision, you are not confident in your decision-making, strengthening yourself in that area. Fear keeps us on the downswing longer than we should be, if you think about a scale, it does not stay down long before it balances, but when we choose fear as our immediate reaction, there is a flight delay to the top.
Give yourself permission starting today to feel what you feel. You may think things are chaotic, but beauty can come from the very moments you question:
When your body signals time to rest, take care of yourself.
- Do not feel the need to stay busy all the time; that is not healthy.
- During the time's things are not up, reframe from forcing anything. Review your strategy and make modifications if needed.
- Make investments where the return is honorable.
- Never make big decisions when you are emotionally at a low point; practice gratitude until you feel mental well enough to make those decisions.
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Blog originally submitted for a magazine entry.