A Swing in Time

Jen T.In this new year, I am resolving to track my emotions better…

Not because emotions are my enemy or anything like that. Maybe a better word to use is I want to appreciate the subtle changes in my emotions more.

This is not a new thought of course, but it came to me more clearly recently when I was lucky enough to find a swing that I could fit on (not many of those around these days, I am sad to say).

Growing up, the swings in the playground near my home were perpetually rusty and twisted so I never got my fill of swinging.

As I sat happily in the swing that day, I thought, “Hey, experiencing bipolar could be like being on a swing”.

After all, one of the common descriptions of the condition is extreme mood swings, right?

But a swing is safe as long as the part where it is connected to the frame does not give way – I call this the anchor.

The intense mood changes I have do not have the power to undo me because I have an anchor in the unchanging and unfailing love of God.

What is your anchor, dear reader?

Without an anchor, the swing can get out of hand and you will probably end up hurt.

With an anchor, the sting is taken out of the swing.

With an anchor, the extremes you encounter can be likened to the difference between summer and winter, or between spring and autumn.

These seasons are polar opposites in a sense, and yet we adapt to them and even look forward to different aspects of the seasons (hot chocolate is just SO much better on a cold winter’s night than in summer)

We don’t go around describing the seasons as bipolar … maybe because there is time in between when we notice the gradual changes.

When we take the time to check on our emotions, we can adjust accordingly.

I like to think this goes beyond just self-awareness but it is self-appreciation, to know where I am at, to embrace each moment as a gift that God has given me, just like how I love every moment of being on that swing.

The swing experience just wouldn’t be the same, if I only had the forward, but not the backward, if there was only high, never low.

Here’s to swinging in the new year!

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