It’s all well and good chasing those highs in life, and hoping, wishing and fighting for a life that’s all sunshine, rainbows and flowers.
But fun fact about rainbows; they don’t happen without rain.
And the flowers don’t grow either.
In fact, research shows that when life’s all sunshine, it gets pretty miserable.
And would you really appreciate the sunshine without the dark? Or warmth without the cold?
No… I didn’t think so, because with everything in life there’s balance.
What goes up must come down.
There’s push and pull.
To and fro.
Light and dark.
There’s always balance.
So yeah, you need those lows.
You need them to appreciate the highs.
The good points, the great points.
If you don’t have the lows, how will you know that you’re experiencing the highs?
And I get it, I really do, sometimes the lows are crippling. They drain you, and the effort it takes every day to just push through, that shit makes you tired in a way that no amount sleep will ever help.
It’s just how it is.
I know. I’ve been there, several times, over several years. That level of soul-tired that keeps you feeling low even when you’ve (finally) had a full nights sleep.
Last year was difficult for me, and seeing everyone sharing year, or even decade reviews, left me feeling low and anxious.
My life isn’t good enough…
I’m not good enough…
I need to do more…
I need to push harder…
It was a hard year, I started 2019 feeling heavy and weighed down in a way I’d never felt before, my goals and dreams always, always, too far out of reach, never seeming to get any closer. I had shit I’d not dealt with for years that I was allowing to cloud my mind and my mood.
I went through 3 months of professional counselling. I signed myself up in January, had my first session in March.
For 12 weeks, I opened up to a complete stranger, dug deep into the recesses of my mind; the parts I’d tried so hard to push down, ignore, hoping they’d just fuck off and leave me be.
ALL my shit came out, my insecurities, my doubts, my fears, things that angered me, things I did that angered me. Things I’d not done that angered me even more. And I pushed through, stayed open, I cried, I picked myself up and found a solution… what, why, how, when… I dug though layers and layers, some dating back 20 years or more… it was intense, it was hard, at times I felt like I was tearing myself open from the inside, and it was damn well worth it. I probably should have done it sooner, and I’d definitely go back and do it again if or when I felt I needed to.
I developed a really bad anxiety for 2 months a few months later that near crippled me, I couldn’t focus, couldn’t sleep. It was like all I’d achieved in the months, even weeks before, meant nothing. I felt terrible, the lowest I’d ever felt, and it all happened so fast I didn’t even realise what was happening, but as soon as the realisation hit, and my brain clicked onto the symptoms and what was happening, I managed to work through using the processes I know to get myself back on track. Pick myself up, ask the right questions and get back on track.
These lows hit hard.
They were painful, felt soul destroying at the time, and I wasn’t sure of the way out or what would happen while I was in the thick of it.
It could easily be defined as the worst, or hardest year of my life.
But it wasn’t.
I needed these lows.
I’m grateful for them.
And these were a small part of my year overall, even though they took up so much of my brain space.
I had some great times, I went to London twice, I attended a business event in Birmingham for a weekend with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I’ve actually been away from home more in 2019 than the 4 year previous.
My business is the strongest and most consistent it’s ever been.
There are so many other great things I could list off, but you get the point.
Despite the lows, there have been some incredible highs.
Yes, the lows lasted longer in some cases, but that doesn’t take away from the greatness of the highs.
And better still, those lows have given me more strength.
A new insight into who I am, and what I’m capable of.
This is why you need the lows.
You need them to give you perspective, to remind you who you are, what you want, and what you’re capable of.
You can choose how to react to the lows.
You can choose to choke them down, ignore them, make them a deeper part of you. Or you can face them, question them, decide how they fit into your life, look at the lesson, and use them as a force to push yourself upwards and onwards, because there’s always an opposite… up and down, backward and forward, darkness and light…
You can build on it, get angry with it, get angry with yourself, and use that to drive and push you. Build your momentum from it.
Strive to be out of that place that you feel stuck in.
And those highs, no matter how little they are, they will feel all the more sweeter.
You’ll laugh harder, smile brighter, live more.
All because you experienced those really deep and intense lows, and decide that actually, they’re not really all that bad.
Remember… you always have a choice.
Yes, it may suck in the moment, but it will be better once you’ve got through it.