So, I have a friend who rides a see-saw life.
Sometimes, the see-saw will ride high. When they’re up there, they tell me that the sky-view is limitless and it fuels the inspiration for their amazing dreams. When the bounce of life’s see-saw lifts my friend up, their visions are vivid and easily shared. Seeds of inspiration float freely between us and I get a glimpse of heights that – if I was flying solo – would simply give me vertigo. But when my friend rides high, they don’t feel dizzy. Instead, they find it somehow soothing. Feeling their ride take them so close to the heat of the sun. Giving them incredible see-saw views across the sky. Views that I could never hope to imagine unless I occasionally let my feet come up off my ground. To follow where their charisma will lead. To dare myself to jump and let go. And when I do let myself follow them, when I take the dare to jump,
I never kinda come back here the same.
But sometimes the see-saw doesn’t ride so high. Because as the third law of motion states, “what goes up must also come down.” When my friend’s see-saw comes down, it does so with a heavy thud. Meaning mostly, the ride crashes and so often, the ride gets stuck. So that they charismatic confidence fades. They struggle to feel their dream because they struggle to see the sky. When my friend’s see-saw falls, it’s as if they forget how to look up. And even if I remind them of the places we’ve been together and the dreams that they showed me across the sky
they never kinda come back the same.
Last week, my friend’s see-saw fell down again. And even though we all knew it was coming, we hadn’t seen the ride land so hard in a long while. It can break your heart to watch the see-saw ride. I’ve watched so many I love ride for so long, I can taste when the dangerous exhilaration is shifting towards the turgid darkness. Even though they tell me they don’t know why the see-saw bumps and it’s something they can’t control, from the outer it’s easier to see.
It’s just the depth of the crashing that’s hard to predict.
My friend has battled again this week, with their bottomed out see-saw getting stuck in the deep of the dark. We all agreed that it’s not fair and we all agreed that this time is another hard one. And it wasn’t until my friend asked me quietly – past the buzz words for head house-cleaning – for what I thought it was they should do. Past all the healthy eating and the exercising. Past all the being in nature and the practicing gratitude. Past all the other strategies that kinda work for a bit, but kinda haven’t lifted the see-saw for the last few times. Until I looked at my friend’s frightened eyes, to a place that they were always to raw to hide,
and just asked them to be a true friend to themselves.
Think standing forward folds balance and nadi shodhana.
Sometimes we can be so focused on looking upwards and outwards. Moving manically forwards to pursue the next amazing idea or feeding the next inspirational dream. So much so that sometimes we can forget to look across to see where we’re at, or to look down to see where we’ve come from. Where we will catch a glimpse of those who love us. Where we are reminded of the touch by someone who cares. And when it’s thought that about 95% of our behaviour is driven by our subconscious – that being the stuff we can’t see behind our actions and our feelings – we can come to understand that we do have the potential to create a space of deep healing. One which resides before our perception comes into play. Where we understand that high is just a relative space to low. And that light is just a relative space to dark.
And that the space between the opposites is where we can have the steadiest balance.
Allowing us to be as brave and as vulnerable as we could ever dare to be.
I asked my friend to treat themselves the way that they would treat me. As a friend who loves and shares and as a friend who hurts and bleeds. And I can’t tell you that the see-saw has become completely unstuck from this latest crash.
But I can feel that the dark is not so bleak and not so scary.
And I’m pretty sure my friend can feel that too.