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Emotional Buoyancy

Fishing trips with my dad was one of my favorite things to do.

Every summer we would venture to Elephant Butte lake in New Mexico for a family vacation.

He would prepare our fishing poles and instruct me to watch the floating bobber connected to the bait, and if it sank and I had a fish on the line. So I would fix my eyes on the red and white floating ball noticing how it stayed afloat through the day in calm and rough waters.

It was buoyant.

This image came to my mind last week as I contemplated the seasons in my life when the waves keep coming, over and over. I noticed a difference in myself as I navigated through the “waves”, challenges and demands of life.

I have become emotionally buoyant. I did bounce around, was a bit wobbly, but I stayed afloat.

I asked myself, “What has helped to create this buoyancy?”

Two things stood out in the past season:

Mindful self-compassion practices and faith.

As self-compassion teachers, we use mantras to help us remember the practices. When dealing with difficult emotions we say:

  • Name it to tame it.

  • Feel it to heal it.

As I labeled each emotion and felt each one without judgement I was able to allow them to flow through me, then I could soothe my heart come to peace. I didn’t deny them, judge them or push them away. This protected me from be driven and completely controlled by emotions.

As I practiced this process each day, I noticed I had access to the needs under the emotions and consequently, found ways to meet those needs.

I found a rhythm when faced with overwhelming situations, people and triggering events.

I found a practice to bring peace and hope.

Then I noticed I was afloat. I didn’t sink into a downward spiral.

During this season, I was also keenly aware of a powerful God holding the “pole”. I was anchored to hope and love and always will be.

Another legacy of truth taught from my dad.

Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41.10

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