Living Life on a Bungee Cord

Living on a Bungee Cord

I don’t care for bungee cords, unless they are the little ones that are used to tie down trunks and secure things so they don’t move around. The big ones; the ones that people attach to themselves before jumping off of high places, do not appeal to me. This may be because at this point in my life, if I ever allowed my body to plummet, only to be jerked back up and then bounced back down again, I would never be able to get my parts back in their upright and locked position! I have too much loose skin and many things aren’t where they were originally, so I can’t afford to shake them up.

Can you imagine living on a bungee cord? You’d be bouncing up and down and up and down and never find a resting place for very long. Many of us do live metaphorical bungee cord existences. We’re either flying high or feeling lower than a snake’s belly.  We all know that life is full of highs and lows, and that’s to be expected. The problem comes when we allow ourselves to fall prey to severe attitude shifts because we lack any stabilizing anchors. Usually, this happens when we aren’t centered and focused on our priorities and we look to others to define our worth.

In my life, every time I have compromised my standards and lost my sense of authentic self because I was trying to be something that I’m not, I’ve found myself flailing and bouncing like I was on a bungee. When I’ve listened to someone else’s negative assessment of my ideas or capabilities and allowed it to derail me, I’ve metaphorically jumped off of that cliff and headed downward until someone else praised me and I was pulled back up again….only to stay there until I heard another negative comment….and so on.  To depend on other people’s opinions of your value is just asking for an emotional elevator ride!

How do you go about breaking an addiction to approval?  I think you have to get fed up! You have to reach a point of saturation at which there is no more room for judgments and criticism to define your happiness. You have to decide whether it would feel better to spend the rest of your life as a victim or would you rather be a victor? You need to look around and really think about why you consider the opinions of others to be more valuable than yours and accept the fact that you have allowed this to happen.

Then begins the process of “unlearning” harmful thinking patterns and replacing them with habits which will enrich and encourage you.  I use affirmations which I write on sticky tabs and I plaster them on my mirror and in my car so I am constantly reminded that I am perfectly capable of finding confidence within myself.

I had to go deep into memories and think about the patterns that were established somewhere in my past and make a conscious choice about whether I wanted to stay with them or make a change. I had to accept and even embrace my values and decide whether they represented the authentic me. If they did…then I stuck with them. If they were someone else’s values, I let them go.

If you feel like there is turbulence in your life and you’re bouncing up and down like a small plane in a storm, check to see if there is a bungee cord fastened to your ankle. That bungee isn’t a life line…it’s not an umbilical cord, and it’s not sustaining you; so cut it, bite it or rip it off!

If you are a thrill seeker and wish to bungee bounce for fun and recreation, go for it! But bungee emotions are NOT fun or recreational….they just leave you feeling helpless and dangling in the wind.

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