If you have ever been on a roller coaster you know it’s filled with twists and turns, highs and lows, excitement, anticipation, fear, and relief.
Once the ride starts, there’s no turning back. You are along for the ride and how you handle it determines whether it’s an enjoyable or miserable experience.
When I talk to people who are struggling in life and wanting to escape, I explain to them that if they were on a roller coaster for the first time and didn’t know the roller coaster continued on an upward trajectory after racing towards the ground they would want to jump off and escape to avoid a crash.
Unfortunately that’s how a lot of people feel when they are experiencing fear, anxiety and stress and riding an emotional roller coaster. They try to escape because they feel like they are about to crash.
The key, however, is to not to escape but to keep going, knowing that even though you feel like you are going to crash, you won’t, and if you hold on, you’ll ride back to the top.
When you remind yourself that ups and downs are a part of life and your current emotional state is just a temporary part of the journey, you won’t resist the tough part of the ride. Instead you will flow with it, your emotional state will rise and you’ll be on the upswing before you know it.
On the other hand, some of us don’t choose to escape. Some of us, when we feel pressure and stress hold on for dear life and are miserable the entire time. We hold on so tight that we don’t enjoy the ride.
I know this well because at times I have found myself resisting rather than enjoying the ride.
That’s no way to live.
So then, how should we ride the roller coaster of life?
If you’ve ever seen someone who loves roller coasters riding one then you know what enjoying the ride looks like and they give us a picture of how we should embrace the roller coaster of life.
Scream, laugh, smile, cry and feel all the emotions the ups and downs and twists and turns bring.
And most of all…
Put your hands in the air and enjoy the ride!