The Secret Behind Life’s Highs and Lows

There is an ongoing balancing act in town. It is you.

I received several calls from my Sweetie. She was having quite a day. She does body work and she was having loads of revelations. She was able to make all kinds of distinctions that make her work much more powerful than usual.

She was also tapping into some very special states. She experienced profound resourcefulness and a good deal of peace. She doesn’t have a lot of experience talking about what she is feeling but she is very experienced at feeling it.

Generalizing about her experience: she was extraordinarily resourceful and quite high for several hours.

You Gotta Love the Great Times


Love those great times. Because they are often followed by less than wonderful times. That evening, in the middle of the night she was under attack. She couldn’t stop seeing pictures horrible stuff happening. She was scared and wasn’t having the least bit of fun.

In my experience working with people I have often found that a really high time is often follow by an equal and opposite low time. I perceive us to be a conjunction of waves. And the peak of a wave leads to the trough of that same wave and then another peak.

I Bet This Happens to You

You get a little good stuff: your boss compliments you or your kids pass their drug tests or your Mom forgives you for the way you treated her from the beginning until last week.

You get a little bad stuff: you stub your toe or get big bill, or have a thought about how worthless you are.

You may have extremes of good and bad too. In a horrible night you see, hear or feel yourself in a plane crash or being raped or your kids being wounded. In the best of days you are on top of the world, you are filled with the experience of perfection or you see yourself winning a nobel prize.

Inside of you is an ongoing balancing act between “good” and “bad” between “happy” and “sad” perhaps between “good” and “evil”.

Uncle Pete wanted to build a foundation for a shed. He built a clever contraption which used hoses and milk cartons filled with water to provide him four very level corners. He used the principle of water seeking its own level to make a level slab.

You are mostly water and you too seek your own level. You balance. You also rock, but that is a whole different blog.

Feast and Famine

You have insights and breakthroughs at work. Perhaps you are brilliant in a meeting or solve a world class problem or deal with a difficult person well.

Then, that very evening you break your favorite coffee cup or ponder your misspent childhood or can’t stop thinking about how fat you are.

Your great day balanced with a lousy evening.

You simply can’t gave “good” without “bad.” The more extreme the “good” the more extreme the “bad.”

You are a self balancing system.

Balancing is an internal aspect of who you are.

Good isn’t Necessarily Good

You can’t have an inch of good without an inch of bad. It is impossible to have an ounce of awful without an ounce of wonderful. You can’t flip a coin and have it come up heads all the time. Keep flipping and heads and tails will balance.

Experiences come at you very fast. You attempt to categorize them, to edit them, to determine how good or bad they are or what they signify about you or your day or your life or your friends.

Life is a very rapid download. There is so much to see, hear and feel. Too much for you to successfully organize all or even much of it.

You are a slow, often agonizingly slow, processor of the download of life.

Life is huge enough that it is always balanced.

You, your focus of attention in particular, process so little of what life throws at you that you life can appear unbalanced to you.

What I mean by this is if you notice that your car didn’t start and that your sock has a hole in it and that your “X” sent you a nasty e-mail you might not notice that your car has started really reliably for three months, your other sock doesn’t have a hole in it the fact that your “X” or anyone else sent you an e-mail indicates that it is pretty cool to be alive, be able to receive e-mails and have people wanting to communicate with you no matter what the content.

Your attention is shockingly selective. It proves points that you need proved and you swing it a bit like a primitive club trying to make sense of your fast paced life.

Try and be Unbalanced

Most people, which probably means you, try and live an unbalanced life. By unbalanced I mean they want more good times than bad times. And while you will never succeed at having more of either one you can certainly convince yourself that you have.

You simply can’t have more good than bad. But selective attention can convince you that you do. You can write songs about your goodness and ignore your badness. And still goodness and badness balance, because they don’t really exist. Have you ever noticed that most popular songs on the radio have something to do with losing a sweetheart? Few songs are about having a sweetheart but you have to have had one to have lost one.

Your selective attention misleads you. You play a role in this by having a bias for some experiences over others.

It is Personal

Your personality is made up of stuff you are willing to see, hear or feel. It is an imbalance between good and bad and it spins out an ongoing scale of who you are and what you deserve. But it really isn’t who you are. It is what your attention selected for you.

If only watched Fox News you would get a certain view of the world. If you live in the country you will have a very different set of input than someone who lives in a city. If your hearing is especially acute but you can’t see worth a damn your world will be very different than someone who is just the other way around. Recent scientific studies have indicated that growing up in New York City actually numbs people’s sensitivity permanently.

Perception isn’t equal, it isn’t unbiased and it is highly preferential. Your personality is based on your perceptual biases and you tend to filter out any experiences that are “too good for you.” An extreme example of this is when poor people win the lottery and lose all their winnings returning to the amount of money they are used to.

Your personality is an edited version of you, the biased cliff notes version of who you really are.

Seeking to have more good than bad, inspires you to build your bias personality

Only in an illusionary world, your personality, can you have one teeny tiny pinch more good than bad or more bad than good. This can only happen in your imagination resulting in your living in your illusion.

Can I get a Witness

There are two main ways you can deal with the download of life. You can try and control it or not try and control it. Either way you are not in control but in the first way you think you are in control. In the second you know you aren’t.

Controlling life is sorting it, editing it and trying to have it be a particular way. It is creating a “mock” self, a personality who serves as a stunt double for you.

Your stunt double, created from partial and distorted perceptions steps in for you and lives your life. You stay busy editing and altering experience, deleting or including what life throws at you so you look “good” or “right” or “happy” or something.

Spinning out your illusionary web keep you busy, so busy you forget that life really doesn’t require any editing or control.

Receiving the download of life without editing is witnessing. Witnessing is powered by observation and not bias. Editing is bias and it takes time, yields distortion and a perception of life that must continually be protected, defended and maintained.

Quoting one of my favorite authors. Reality requires no maintenance. (Yes, that quote is from Jerry Stocking, thats me.)

None of this is to say that you shouldn’t be biased and edit like crazy.

You will.

The real secret isn’t having more good than bad it is witnessing yourself editing. The game isn’t to stop editing it is to observe yourself editing.

Catching yourself editing is like catching yourself with your hand in the cookie jar. “Have a cookie.”

Enjoy the cookie, and get on with witnessing your bias and having a wonderful time doing so. Let that stunt double, the illusionary you take the fall continually being aware that your personality isn’t you and that you are always in perfect, immaculate balance to more decimal places than a scientist can aspire to.

One of the best jokes in life is that you seek to be unbalanced and remain balanced: always, perfectly balanced.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexia Hernandez November 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm
Thomas "Tom" Oberbichler December 6, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks for this passionate and inspiring look at life!


Jerry May 10, 2013 at 11:51 am

You are welcome Tom. Glad you liked it enough to post.


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