Up and Down

This week has been a difficult one, with so many masked faces raising the ghosts of memories that I could wish had stayed well buried… memories of moments that I will not forget, no matter how much wishing I might do. Perhaps it is fallout from the whole virus crisis, perhaps it is something in the air… a collective reaction to having held our breath for so long while life has been on hold.  It is often once a crisis begins to wind down, and the immediate need for action has eased, that the true scale of the emotions that have been simmering below the surface begin to make themselves known.

But, in spite of that, and despite it being a week of painkillers for breakfast every day, there have been many brighter moments, with Nature unveiling daily miracles and my son making plans that might make my life a touch easier one of these days. A week, then, of ups and downs… which is how life usually works.

The memories that came back, unwanted and unasked, took me back to my son’s bedside, over a decade ago. He was attached to so many wires, tubes and screens that almost every function of his comatose body could be read on the screens. Watching the monitors, I couldn’t help comparing them to the video games my sons used to play, where their on-screen characters had a life-counter. Nor could I help thinking how closely the human heartbeat resembles the life that it counts.

Most of the time its measured beat runs like clockwork, a predictable organic machine that its inorganic counterpart displays upon the screen as a series of peaks and troughs. There is a regularity about them, each beat made up of multiple events that must reach both apex and nadir before repeating the cycle.

The similarities with daily life are easy to discern… most of us are, in some way, regulated by the clock. It calls us to work, to meals, to the commute or the school run… each day has a pattern dictated by necessity and habit. Each day has its highs and lows… many of them also predictable and part of the pattern into which we have grown or fallen.

The wider events of our lives also seem to run in a series of peaks and troughs, with the good times preceded and followed by ones we see as not-so-good, at least while we are living through them. There is a vague trepidation about ‘what next’ when the rhythm falters and no predictable timescale to these swings from high to low and back, but we can be pretty sure they will happen. It is only in hindsight that we may realise that the troughs are as valuable as the peaks.

Many of these series’ of events seem to carry a common thread, a pattern that keeps bringing them around, again and again, until we learn how to break the chain. It is these similarities that can give us the insight to discern what we need to look at within ourselves in order to move forward instead of placing the onus on life and going round in circles.

Progress will lead to a new challenge and it may seem as if each bit of progress takes you to a new and more difficult level. The difference is that, just like a game, by the time you complete a level and progress, you have learned new skills through experience.  You move forward on a spiral path, not in circles, and with each turn of the arc you are better equipped for the new terrain.

Not all life’s challenges are born of our choices or characters though. Like the villain in a game or a blip in the beat registered on the monitor, some things just happen without warning and we have to deal with them as best we can… ready or not.

It is then that all the troughs we have survived show their worth, allowing us to draw upon the skills and experience they give us while the peaks give us hope of a better day and a reminder that once the lowest point has been reached, the only way is up.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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40 Responses to Up and Down

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Let’s hope the way forward band up is with a new kindness and better understanding of eachother… Not holding my breath though…not yet . Be well Sue 💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. joylennick says:

    Said as only you can say it, Sue! So true. You probably know i’m ancient by now – but most of the ‘lows’ have been worth it. The word ‘most’ is vital to include…It’s amazing what we can learn about ourselves during times of adversity and how it can help one become more of an empath. Take care of your good self, Virtual hugs. x


  3. jenanita01 says:

    I have been feeling very down lately what with one thing and another, but when you said about life being a spiral and not a circle, it really rang a bell deep inside my head. Everything will move on, eventually, as it always does…


  4. gmvasey says:

    I like the game analogy a lot – right down to the ‘boss’ that appears before you level…… Great article as usual Sue. Thanks for your words as they always help to guide…


  5. gmvasey says:

    Reblogged this on The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey and commented:
    Well worth reading and contemplating….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beth says:

    and, having followed you for a number of years, I have full faith that being the Phoenix you have proven to be, you will rise once again. in the meantime, it is difficult, and I hope you take care of yourself until this begins.


  7. Sadje says:

    That is indeed life in a nutshell. No ones life is static, ups and downs an integral part of it. Hugs to you, hope you feel better soon


  8. A bit more melancholy than your usual fare, Sue. Peaks and valleys describes this time as well as life in general. Fortunately, we do gain wisdom and experience along the way, often the more profound insights and growth from those valleys. I hope you have a peaceful, painfree weekend. Take care.


  9. Great post Sue. Having been rock bottom, the only way indeed was up. It was finding the will and way to start that journey. As you say, we learn lessons from the troughs and depths of sadness and sorrow. It makes us stronger and more determined to fight and not give in. Where we find that strength is amazing. To discover it is there within us just waiting for the precise time to make its presence known, makes us surprise ourselves..


  10. Debbie P says:

    This was so well said. And you can’t appreciate the highs without the lows. But we have had so many lows this year. Praying for better days and a better world.


  11. Widdershins says:

    I so hope the ‘son makes life easier thing works out’ 🙂 … sending you some big hugs (the not-too-squeezy kind because of your owies 🙂 ) all for your very own. 🙂


  12. Jim Borden says:

    I admire your positive attitude, despite the difficulties you are facing…


  13. Jennie says:

    It’s all how we deal with what we are given, and our attitude. You are able to see all the good (nature is a great help) and understand the bad. Your strength pulls you along, and gives you the wisdom you share with all of us. Thank you for that!


  14. Thank you. I needed to read this right now.


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