Life can sometimes look like a list of peaks and valleys that involve emotions and feelings that are either very high or very low. The highs and the lows feel something like a roller coaster- but one that you either want to stay on forever or get off as soon as possible. The fear is real the excitement is real. Our selfish blindness to what life is actually guaranteed to be is real.
There was a day, recently, where I found myself experiencing a low that seemed unbearable. I felt feelings throughout my body that I had never experienced before. It was a combination of emotional pain turned extreme physical discomfort and I wanted to run so far away from these feelings that I wouldn’t be able to remember them.
The next morning I woke up with one of those cry hangovers. Where your face feels tight, your head aches, and you want to drink cherry Icees and hug your mom for 3 hours straight. My mom was out of town and I had to teach a CycleBar class at 6 a.m. though, so I did what most people tend to do when life gets heavy- ignored my feelings and carried on.
This worked for all of maybe 2 hours. After the busy of my day ran out (at 7:15 a.m.) I started to feel the aches again. So I continued to lean away from the suck of my day and scheduled something else to do.
During that something else a friend of mine told me something that changed the course of the rest of my morning. She told me to “Have a day.” She didn’t encourage me to have a certain type of day, good or bad- she said “Just have a day.” I wasn’t challenged to stop feeling sad or to start feeling happy. I took a deep breath and attempted to have a day. I stopped trying to lean in and out of my feelings, I stopped trying to control what was happening to me and I laid in my bed.
I realized in this time I was in the pit of a valley. I was in the pit of a valley that I had never been to before.
I asked myself- what am I doing here? Then, I remembered this Billy Graham quote that I wrote down in Ms. Tuttle’s creative writing class quote book assignment senior year of high school:
“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
If I was in a valley that I had never been in before that means I was about to grow some kind of fruit that I had never experienced. This was exciting and scary to me at the same time. I settled in and looked around at my new view.
This is what I learned from the new valley:
- Transformation is at its greatest vantage point. Soul Cycle instructor and motivational coach Angela Davis opened my eyes up to this idea. When you get the opportunity to sit in the valley- you get to be somewhere very cool. You aren’t where you want to be but you aren’t where you used to be either. It’s this weird transition period where transformation has its greatest opportunity.
- Our valley has purpose. The valley is where our spiritual, emotional, and physical fruit is grown. Your valley has purpose always. The valley is where you find water and rich soil to grow the things needed to be grown. We get taken into the valley with purpose and we find our way out with purpose.
- You can be on a peak and valley at the same time. When we fall to the pit in one area an area we have been neglecting has a chance to resurface. Sometimes our valleys are simply there to highlight the good we have going on.
- You need Valleys just as much as you need Mountain Tops. Without the bad- we wouldn’t know how sweet the good is. When I begin to think that I don’t deserve feeling sad, scared, angry, lonely etc I have to remember that I actually do.
- You have a decision to make. You can sit in the valley and become bitter or you can stand in the valley and grow something useful- that will make the view at the top even more spectacular. Here, we are given a chance to create movement in our lives. Wonderful movement.
This day taught me how to live in my valley and find my rich fruit- mostly because I was not trying to feel or unfeel things anymore. That day I stopped wishing precious moments of my life away that can actually make my small impact on the world less small. I learned how to not live in a “good” or “bad” attitude. Whether we like what is going on or we don’t our heart is beating in either circumstance.
Where do you find yourself needing to learn to live deeper and just “have a day”?
Thank you to Kate Moore for helping me find my own permission to have a day and for Tori Ross for encouraging me to go to Getfit615 that morning <3