Life itself can sweep us off our feet catapulting us into ‘cloud nine’ or send us hurling into the mud. Often you hear people say, “I feel so happy I’m on cloud nine”. Cloud nine in this context represents an experience which puts you into your own private bubble floating above all of life’s troubles. Perhaps an open door to fulfilling your dreams has sent you into this ‘cloud nine’ experience. It could be a long awaited financial break or win! The bubble could represent a new relationship with someone special. It could also represent the excitement of walking into your own new home. No matter what has sent you floating into ‘cloud nine’, most people agree that these moments are filled with excitement and joy.
Who would ever wish to leave the ‘cloud nine’ bubble of floating fun and excitement? No one in their right mind would try and escape these wonderful moments in life yet without our consent we often experience times in which it’s as though we have been hurled into the depths of mud. That’s when you experience the opposite of floating on ‘cloud nine’ from happy emotions to angry, sad, and hurt and so on. I’ve only ever felt my feet stuck in mud but haven’t actually gone beyond my feet. I’ve seen movies in which people are sinking into quick sand struggling hard only to often disappear. When cars get stuck in mud a huge rescue effort is put in place as the tyres just spin along with the mud unable to grip onto anything solid. Then the hole gets deeper and the car becomes completely stuck! Often in these situations people put something solid underneath the tyres providing the grip that’s necessary to get out of the mud.
What’s the ground got to do with it? The ground represents stability. The ground is there when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. The ground is there no matter your mood! You can count on the ground to be there when you step out of a car or out of your front door of the house. Imagine for a moment if we stepped out onto nothingness…. I don’t like the idea of free falling. There is no way you would ever get me jumping out of plane even with a parachute. The point is that the ground is there full stop!
With the two extreme life experiences of ‘cloud nine’ and mud which happen to everyone I present you with two thoughts.
Why do we need to stay grounded in a ‘cloud nine’ experience? And what do I mean when I say staying grounded in the mud?
Each of these life experiences represents the extremes of life. Cloud nine is at the top end of positive and muddy messes sit at the bottom end in the negative zone.
While the cloud nine experiences are amazing we know deep down that they don’t last forever. We should certainly enjoy those moments cherishing every minute yet we can remain grounded even while floating. Remaining grounded happens on the inside. Remembering that our identity is not within that bubble as eventually that bubble will pop. If we attach our identity to those bubble moments we will pop too! It can be tempting to start believing you are better than everyone else when you are floating in a bubble since everything is going so well. It’s a time to remember not to get prideful or insincere when others are not in their bubble. It’s about appreciating those moments while remaining the person you are without it getting to your head. Stay grounded in the bubble not allowing the amazing moment to prop yourself up becoming unreachable to others.
The opposite lurks in the mud moments of life. This is when our identity can come under attack. Mud is messy and very hard to clean. Mud covers and buries. It is strong enough to keep heavy cars stuck for hours. It’s in the muddy moments that we can begin to question ourselves. We may start to believe the worst. That perhaps we deserved to be in the mud. We may feel like we will never get out of the mud that it will bury us alive. Perhaps we feel helpless and useless. If it’s not bad enough to be stuck in mud there are times in which people may start throwing mud at you. Again that is a time to remain grounded on the inside and remembering who you are. It’s always easy for others to assume who they think you are. The trouble is people’s opinions of you can change in any given moment. To rely on people’s opinions is dangerous. You need to know who you are for yourself.
After all no one knows you like you do!
Bubbles pop and mud sticks! Who you are on the inside is what will get you through every situation in life. Your values, your character, your integrity, your motives, your beliefs is what makes you, YOU!
Your values, character, integrity, motives and beliefs are with you when you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning. Just like the ground you walk on which remains the same and is always there, so it is with who you are as a person.
Keeping grounded in all of life’s extremes helps you to remain balanced. Keeps your perspectives in check! Who you are on the inside will always outshine those bubbles as wonderful as they are and give you the strength to overcome the mud we can find ourselves fighting against.
Remain true to yourself and most of all stay grounded.