If all of life’s seasons were attractions in a theme park: childhood would be bumper cars, for no matter how hard we get hit, we would always be safe. Adolescence would, perhaps, be a pendulum ride, as our emotions often swing from one end of the spectrum to the other.
And marriage, marriage would be a roller coaster ride.
Think about it – You ride in pairs. It’s fast. There are ups and downs.
And… it’s even more exciting when you lift your hands up.
It’s weird, isn’t it, how people throw their hands up to the sky when they’re having a good time? In roller coaster rides, at concerts, or right after scoring a goal. It is as if lifting our hands up is our body’s natural response to feelings of excitement, happiness, or enjoyment.
Roller coaster rides are so much more fun when we decide to just give in to the moment, to surrender, and lift our hands up to the sky because we know that the seat belt is keeping us safe and locked in place. When we know we are safe, we are free to lean in to the moment we’re in and choose to engage or be in the present. Then, we would be hit by a wave of enjoyment that we have never felt before.
The famous author Brene Brown once said, that “vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face everyday are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement.”
Marriage is like a roller coaster in this sense. For some, it might seem like a scary ride. The ups and downs are not optional – but we can decide how we want to deal with it.
So, make sure that you are secure in your footing, so that you can lean more into the moment, enjoy a little extra freedom, and lift your hands up. It is our choice whether we want to engage in it and be present. It is our choice to throw in a little bit of excitement and fun while we’re in it. It is our choice whether we want to go all in and enjoy the ride.