OH BLAH – I mean it. What is it with life? Even when things are hunky-dory – we’re always, seeking, seeking something else!? I couldn’t be happier at the moment and yet I feel restless. All my “bubbles are doing well”. One of my old friends told me about the “bubble theory” – you have multiple bubbles in your life, all bubbling around at the same time.
Put your life’s problems in separate bubbles
Work and career is probably a bubble, friends and family another bubble. Money and finances get their own bubble, and so might your creative pursuits, hobbies or dreams. If you have half a sense of self, religion or spirituality will make another bubble, or perhaps community work or spending time with others in need. Health is often a major bubble and even the healthiest of us feel a bit deflated every now and then.
The point about the bubble theory is that not all your bubbles will be airtight and buoyant at the same time. Sometimes multiple bubbles will start to deflate and will need urgent and even on-going resuscitation. Sometimes we can feel as if the universe has let the air out of our entire life – and every bubble seems to sink to the ground. This often coincides with a “breakdown” or “low point”. Personally, I have had about 3 or 4 major breakdowns in my life, where most of my bubbles burst at once, leaving me shocked and flailing.
If you’re like me, then this will have happened to you at some point. It’s not uncommon – often a job loss will coincide with a relationship breakdown which can then trigger an illness; then because you’ve lost your job, you start to have money troubles and yet another bubble starts to droop and sink.
It can feel like your whole life is collapsing.
Often, this is when people sink into depression – and rightfully so! When you feel like your whole world is deflating around you – you start to feel low. Feelings of hopelessness may creep in. It may be hard to get out of bed. It may be hard to sleep or to eat. You may feel the urge to eat too much, or drink too much – or to hide away from the world.
Personally, there have been about 3 or 4 times I have felt depressed in my life, coinciding with the 3 or 4 “great life tragedies” I feel I have had. Tragedy and suffering is coming for us all – even those of us who live a charmed life. The human existence is full of suffering – anyone who has read books (or watched movies) knows all about this.
It’s OK to feel sad – and don’t let anyone tell you differently!
There is great tragedy in falling in love, in being human and in making mistakes. I am a great advocate for allowing myself to feel sad. I have blogged previously about this modern obsession with Happiness – as if it is something that we can capture and hold onto for eternity. It is not.
I found a great blog post called Why Sadness is the Key to True Happiness and I thought I would discuss this further as more and more of my friends are jumping on to this 100 Days of Happiness bullshit program – which is driving me crazy. Their posts will read something like, “Day #43 – the perfect cup of coffee,” and “Day #67 – seeing my dog run in circles in the back yard.”
I mean, fair enough that they want to celebrate the little things in life but REALLY. I feel like counteracting with a 100 Days of Sadness post. After all, isn’t there value in that emotion as well? Can’t sadness lead us to reflection, growth and pause?
Imagine the posts – yep, they would be a total downer, right? But isn’t that more authentic? There is a growing trend of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), Life Envy and Humble Bragging at the moment where people post positive, positive, POSITIVE things about their life and goals, but isn’t there more to us as beings than our achievements, our “home-runs”? Of course there is.
“Let your heart be broken into a million pieces. You will be all the better for it.”
How to make the Bubble Theory work for you
And now back to my “bubble theory” – if life is getting you down, and it all feels “too much” – think of your problems in separate bubbles. When we feel overwhelmed, understand that there is never a time when all your bubbles will be floating in the sky, perfectly. One or more of them will always be a little deflated.
But don’t put all your bubbles in the same bunch. Keep each bubble separate and when one bubble starts to sink, keep a firm hold on the others. Never put all your problems into one single bubble. Relationships are one bubble, work is another, health is another – usually even in the greatest darkness – there is one bubble that remains strong and this can change over time.
Here is a direct quote from blogger and wellness coach Sandra Pawula
“There may be transitory moments of happiness when things go our way, we have an enjoyable sensory experience, or acquire an entrancing new possession. But this happiness is not a long lasting one. All the tension of striving for what we want and rejecting everything else just brings more complications and more suffering. We’re rarely satisfied for more than a moment. Then we’re on to achieving a new goal, having the next experience, getting a better possession, or finding the right relationship.”