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15: You Can’t Have the Highs Without the Lows

The highlight reels we often see on social media would have us believe that we’re meant to be happy all the time – but that’s simply not practical. The key to a fulfilling, “happy” life? Balance.

Transcription:

Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor. Take a slow deep breathe in, and now breathe out. Congratulations. You just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out. A weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it. 

Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky. I love that you keep joining. I love that you keep checking in. I love that you are listening. Thank you so much for being here and sharing my journey with me, being a part of my universe. It’s really humbling and exciting to be able to just do something that I love and share a passion with people. So I sincerely thank you for joining.

Not long ago, I had a friend ask me, “How do you stay happy all the time?” and my response was…”I don’t.”

I am very human. I have ups, and I have downs. My heartfelt belief is that we are not meant to be happy all the time – contrary to some people’s popular belief. It’s just that it is so unrealistic to be expected to be happy all the time. 

If we were happy all the time, how do you express grief? How do you express sadness? How are you able to cry when you crash your bike and have splinters in your chin and a scraped-up knee? If you’re happy all the time, then how are you able to experience the range of emotion that makes us human? It doesn’t make sense to me.

I seem happy all the time because I’m imbalanced. I think that happiness, joy, and excitement are our touchstones and moments that we should cherish and hold dear because those moments are precious. They warm our hearts. They bring us closer together. They are just these beautiful gifts that we have, which lift our spirits and light us up. They’re amazing. And yet, we cannot live in that constant state of bliss. 

If we lived in that constant state of bliss, then you’re constantly looking for a higher state of bliss. One state of bliss becomes so normal that then, all of a sudden, it’s, “Well, I’m not happy anymore because this is my norm.” And then you have to find something else and something else and something else to keep upping that state so that you can experience this quote, unquote, joy. This intense emotion. Well, does that sound realistic?

Does that sound like it actually works? I mean, just think about it for a moment. For some reason, we’re all told we have to be excited. We have to be happy all the time. And yet happiness is one of the extreme emotions that we are supposed to be able to experience and enjoy for a moment. In the same aspect, we are not meant to be down all the time. We are not meant to be weighted. We are meant to experience these emotions of sadness and grief and pain of being lost and uncertain. We are meant to experience those emotions so that we can then come up out of them and experience and enjoy those upper emotions. 

Think of a couple of kids on a teeter-totter.

They love going up and down, and you push off of the ground so that you can go higher and your friend goes down. And then they push off, and you just keep going up and down and up and down. And at one point, one decides to hold the other one up in the air. And for a moment being in the air, you just feel joyful and excited and free as a bird because you are weightless for a moment just up there. 

And eventually, you just want to come down. It would be nice to have your feet on the ground, and you get a little frustrated, and you might bounce, and you might say, “Let me down.” And you have to wait for the other person to allow you to come back down to earth. Wait for the emotion to let you come back down to earth.

And perhaps you’re the one that’s on the bottom and you’re letting your friend be up there for a while. And for a little while, being down there and being grounded and solid feels good because it’s a respite from all of the higher energy that took you soaring. So you just sit in that, and you enjoy that for a moment before eventually, you’re kind of tired of being so down, and you want to go back up. 

This teeter-totter, this up and down and up and down, is actually pretty human. It’s very normal. It is very healthy to experience the range of emotions. The ebb and flow. The up and down. This is a rhythm. I keep talking about rhythms. This is the way that it is. We have within us this pulse. I’ve told you guys before I used to live a very, very hurried go, go, go life.

And with that go, go life came unbelievable highs. I was so productive and so excited. And so, just effervescent in my life, I would light up a room and just bring so much joy to those people around me. And I was so productive. I could get so much done on. You just needed to buckle yourself in for the ride because we were going to go, and we were going to succeed and achieve. And there wasn’t anything that you could put in my path that I would not be able to conquer and achieve. 

And after I spent a time in this fabulous space of going and doing and creating, I would then be exhausted, and I would come down, and I would have a low as long and as deep as my high was. So I would be exhausted. My energy would be spent. I would just feel like I needed to do nothing.

I might spend a lot of time crying and just unable to complete any kind of project, frustrated. I remember one particular time I was so down that I cried for three days solid. And my husband at the time didn’t know what to do with me. And a friend came over and offered help and just was very genuine. “Hey, what can I do? And how can I help?” And just the act of somebody being kind to me and genuine to me made me cry even more. They didn’t understand why. There was no comprehension of what was going on. I just was letting this emotion flow. 

Now, not every one of my downs was that down. And yet, I did have these swings of lots of energy, and up and go do. And then these moments of down and frustrated and just beside myself. And most people outside of my household didn’t see this.

They didn’t know that I crashed. They didn’t know that I had these moments of downness. And so if I had a day that was rare and I was just kind of in the middle, and I was pretty even-keeled. They would come to me, and they’d say, “Wow, you’re down.” I wasn’t down. I was actually even for the first time in a really long time. However, I wasn’t exuberant, and I wasn’t as bubbly and excited and happy as everyone thought that they had gotten to know me as. They expected me to be this up and bubbly person. 

It wasn’t until I really crashed and then I found theater that I recognized that there was something more to it. There was something more to the what’s and why’s of these ups and downs. And there were contributing factors. And I needed to stop and take stock and understand what was going on for me.

I needed to find some self-worth, and I needed to realize that self-care could help me. I went to a counselor I went to teachers. I went to friends. I searched, I looked. I worked hard to see my patterns, to understand myself and my needs, my hopes, and my fears. I worked to own myself, my emotions. And in owning myself and my emotions when I started that downward slide, I would recognize that it was coming up. And I would say, “Wait, what do I need? What do I need right here in this moment? How can I help myself? What can I do?” 

I might call a friend. Might eat a little ice cream. Might go for a walk? I might find just some moments of solitude so that I could breathe and be alone. But I found that self-care helped me out. Tuning in and understanding what I needed was a gift that I was so grateful to start understanding and embracing.

So, as I started understanding and embracing this gift of self-ownership, my lows weren’t as low. And when I went up to that high and I was using all of that energy and I was excited and productive and getting so many things done, I was aware of what was going on. And as I started to come down, my lows weren’t so low. And as I went up, my highs weren’t so high. And instead of experiencing these Grand Canyons of lows and these Mount Everest of highs. They were much more manageable and understandable. They were much more fluid, and they were much more even. I wasn’t flatlined. 

It wasn’t that I lost emotion. I still experienced emotion. And I was still able to just enjoy, and laugh, and be productive and happy. And yet, I also acknowledged that I was tired and I needed a little something, and I could give that to myself.

And even when I was happy and up and energetic, I recognized that maybe I needed something. Was it that I needed to complete a project? Was it that I needed some friendship because I was insecure? Because, yes, I would do that. I would get really self insecure. And when I did that and was uncertain in myself, I would actually start getting really kind of hyper and frenetic and buzzy and seeking out people and friendships because I needed that connection in that moment. And I recognize that. 

Once I recognized that it was, “Okay, so let’s do this with intention instead of the frenetic aspect of it.” And I was able to calm down. I was able to meet my needs and come to more of a balance. This balance is what lets me experience the joy of naming clouds as they float by or watching the umbrella sway in the breeze, the bright color of green grass in the spring.

The moment of connecting with a friend. The taste of my favorite new food. All of these things bring me joy. And yet these joys, I enjoy them in the moment, and they boost my spirits immensely, and I don’t have those low lows. I experience them. There are moments that I am very sad, that I am very insecure, that I am worried or concerned. I have the entire range of motion. And yet, I have found a balance. Instead of pushing to be happy all of the time, I push to be in balance. And that balance brings me peace and means that I am able to find joy in the little things even when I’m a little bit down. 

Even when I’m struggling emotionally or physically, there’s still those things of joy that are able to lift me. Those moments of self-care, I don’t have to dig quite so deep to improve my mood because I know myself, and I know how to give myself what gift it is that I need in that moment.

In this way, I have obliterated the need to be happy all the time. And instead, I have embraced the ability to find balance. I sincerely believe that every human being should seek for that. I think that if we got rid of that expectation to be happy all the time and just sought to find balance in our emotions, it would just be amazing. I get to look at the world with childlike wonder right now. 

The color of the leaves on a plant, how they’re different and unique. A little kid will look at that, and they will laugh, and they’ll be giddy. They’ll feel the fuzzy underside, or they marvel at things, and they laugh, and they skip from place to place. And I feel that same joy and that same excitement. And a little kid just lives in that moment. And when a child falls and scrapes their knee, they live in that moment, and they cry, and they seek solace.

They seek comfort from whoever is around. When we’re adults, somehow, we lose that ability. It is somehow trained out of us that you’re not supposed to live in the moment. And when people do live in that moment, they’re kind of frowned upon. And I say, we need to reclaim that. Reclaim the ability to just experience the emotions that are in us at that moment, in that moment. Acknowledge them. Let them flow through. 

And if we let them flow through, then we’re not blocking them. And if we’re not blocking them, then it’s less likely that we’re going to be going as low because we’re not forcing ourselves to hold back. We’ll experience the emotion and release. I struggled. Most of my life, I’ve struggled with that. “You’re too hyper. You’re too obnoxious. You need to calm down. And why are you depressed? Why are you struggling?”

People don’t like to see you down. People like to see the happiness. So we feed on the happiness, which makes us happier. And then when we crash, we crash even harder because there has to be a crash after the high. You can’t live on the high alone. We struggle to find balance. We struggle to find peace. We struggle to find an understanding and a love that can only come from within. We struggle to find that gift of acceptance from other people. 

And in reality, the only person that needs to approve of you and who you are and how you are is literally you. You get to find that joy. You get to find those keys that bring you up from the lows. You get to find that balance so that your highs aren’t so high and your lows aren’t so low. And yet, you really genuinely get to feel every bit of every emotion that flows from your heart, from your body, from your soul, your entire being.

When I first started changing, people would ask me if I was okay because I was no longer so down or no longer so high. Instead, I was finding balance, and they were concerned and worried about me. And now people look at me, and they’re like, “You are so happy.” And in reality, you know what, right now, my happiness is actually born from the balance I have found in recognizing myself. In granting myself permission to be me, always. In every little thing. 

I may laugh one minute and cry the next. Seeing you will likely delight me because I’m so excited to have you around. I can cry with a friend. I can laugh with a friend. I can just be present in the moment and grateful for the opportunity that it is here. I recognize my emotions, and I really hope, pray, wish for every human in this world to find theirs too. To be able to define those unique emotions that we don’t really have a name for.

We just know that we feel them. I yearn for people to learn what self-care is and the way that self-care can help them. And the way that self-care can help balance out the challenging times. When you’re being held up in the air, and you really just want to come down because you’re so tired, and you just want to be grounded for a little bit and connected to your home, to your space. Or when you’re really down, and you just want to come up for air, and you just feel like it’s the hardest thing to do. I hear you. I see you wholeheartedly completely. 

I sought help. I learned tools. I found that being true to myself meant that I felt more in balance, and I wasn’t as affected by everybody else telling me I needed to be happier, or I needed to be less happy. Instead of being affected so much by everyone else’s opinions around me, the only opinion that really matters is my own.

The only opinion that really matters is your own. Who are you? How are you? Where are you? What do you need so that you can find balance? How can you help bring yourself up when you’re down and balance when you’re soaring? Only you know how to help you. And sometimes we really don’t. Sometimes we don’t know what it is that’s going to help us find our balance and find our foothold because we just feel like we’re on such a slippery slope. 

I tell you it is possible. Reach out. Talk to a friend, talk to a doctor. Find someone that you feel safe with to express where you’re at. Learn, study. You can do it. Reaching out is the strongest, bravest, most impressive, beautiful thing that I think has ever existed because it says that you are willing to embrace yourself instead of the world. The world doesn’t matter.

The world goes on. You and your experience and your life and your joy and your sadness. You in your wholeness and your humanity is what matters. So what do you need to do so that you can find balance? How can you change your reality to where you are at peace and you find joy because you know that everything’s okay. You know it’s okay to be down. It’s okay to be up. It’s okay to be exactly where you are. It’s okay to not be okay in and of itself. 

Let me say that again. It is okay to not be okay. I know it’s kind of deep, and I know it’s kind of heavy, and I just want you to know that it’s possible and that I care and that you matter. Every human being matters. If I could hug every human in this world and imbue in them the knowledge and love that I have, this world would be so completely changed.

I want everyone to learn how to take care of themselves. I want everyone to learn how to tune in and know that every emotion that they’re feeling is okay. Experience it and let it move on. I want every person to be able to just own themselves. Doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks or feels. Yours, your opinion, your thought, your belief is what matters. I just wish that everybody could get that. That we could all flow and live in balance and peace and joy on every level and every bit of humanity. 

Enjoy the teeter-totter. Enjoy the ups and downs. Experience the highs and lows and acknowledge them as they come. Because as they come, and you acknowledge them, the highs will be a little less high and the lows will be a little less low, and you will feel so much better. Life will be so much more fluid and so much more easy.

I promise you it will be amazing to stop and feel that. To just know that you are good and amazing and fabulous exactly how authentically you are. I hope that you find that. I hope that you learn. I hope that you seek out any kind of help that you possibly need so that you can boost yourself along and just find your own knowledge and your own truth. Seek for your balance. 

I want to say I seek for your joy. And yet, I seek for your balance. And I really support you in whatever choice and decision you make. I hope that your heart is light. I hope that find a little bit of peace, knowing that you are not alone and that we are all kind of going through this together. And we are all just kind of knocking side to side and just creating this life as we’re living it because nobody has lived your life.

Nobody has experienced the things that you have experienced. Witnessed the things that you have witnessed or felt the things that you feel. We can say that I know what you’re feeling. And yet we really don’t because we are not you. No one is you. No one can have your experience. But we can support each other, and we can love each other. And we can encourage each other and say, “Hey, it’s okay. I get it. Things are hard. And I’m right here with you, or things are great, and I am so happy to sit out on the patio and enjoy the sunshine and watch the trees sway in the wind.” 

So don’t strive to be happy all the time. Strive for balance, and therein you will find even more joy. I look forward to being with you again next time here on Breathe In, Breathe Out.

I hope this moment of self-care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m Krystal Jakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. And I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again, here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time. Take care.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.

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