Have you ever noticed that being happy is just as exhausting as being sad?
That’s because it is.
I have lived my life on the roller coaster of emotion. Disneyland’s Space Mountain doesn’t hold a snow capped peak to the summits and valleys of my feelings. I have spent most days holding on for dear life to the side rails, addicted to the euphoria of elation and barreling through the caverns of sadness.
Riding the roller coaster taught me that, “Everything that goes up, must come down.” I don’t believe happiness is sustainable, but there is a space between these two polarities—it’s called contentment.
I call it, living in the eye of the storm—always calm, collected, in observance 360 degrees of everything around, untouched, yet aware.
I disembarked the roller coaster one day and began paying attention to the eye of the storm in everything I do. I started to exist in it and I discovered, contentment is sustainable.
When I breathe, I acknowledge the emptiness between the inhale and exhale. I honor the silence between my words and the hover between my footsteps. Between the joke and the laugh, I take pause in my smile. The place where there is nothing, that’s where peace awaits me.
The storm will always be and so will the roller coaster. There is always the temptation to step onto the platform of the roller coaster, lock down the restraint bars and take a ride. It is tempting because excitement is addicting. I have to tell myself every time I feel the craving to be struck by lightning that I have the choice to step into the storm or stand in the center, in the quiet stillness where I can observe the electricity and appreciate it.
I remind myself that the quiet always exists in the noise, I just have to stop to hear it.
By Rebecca Lammersen
Editor: Brianna Bemel
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A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. The Day I Stopped Running. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012. Overcoming the Storm by Becoming the Storm. A Toast to PTSD: The Solution Starts with One Question. Hot Love with a Leo.