I was fortunate enough to meet up with my lovely brother, sister in law and my two, gorgeous little nieces recently and we went along to a fairground to have some fun.

My nieces were enthralled by all the sights, sounds and smells of the fair as we walked around. There were hot dog stalls, candy floss sellers, a haunted house and a merry go round with beautiful painted horses but the ride that we really wanted to go on was the roller coaster.

“I haven’t been on a roller coaster for years” I said to my brother. “It’s about time that you did then.” He replied and he was so right.

Normally, I prefer to keep my feet firmly on the ground – safe in the knowledge that nothing can go wrong but as I looked at my five year old niece full of excitement and anticipation – I decided that it was time to face my fear and just do it. “Will you come with me Auntie Janie?” and so I did. “How could I refuse?”

The ride slowly trundled up to the top of a very big peak and then came ricocheting down. I’d forgotten how terrifying they were as you whizzed round the corners at high speed – wondering if at any moment the cart might completely come off the tracks.

Whilst I sat there gripping onto the seat for dear life with pure fear pulsing through my veins, my angelic five year old niece simply sat there laughing and thoroughly enjoying herself. The difference I realised was that she had no fear. She was just enjoying the adrenalin rush and was entirely immersed in the moment.

I on the other hand was mentally processing how easy it might be for some technical fault to occur, wondering what sharp right turn or massive drop was waiting round the corner and how safe the safety harnesses really were. My mind was whizzing from one worry thought to the next and in the meantime the ride sped on oblivious, until it came to a complete standstill.

As I hopped off, my legs wobbling beneath me, it suddenly dawned on me (naff as it sounds) that life really is a bit like a roller coaster. At some point if you are going to enjoy the ride you have to just let go and have a little faith that everything is going to be ok – otherwise you are in for a terrifying time.

As children, we naturally have less learnt fear and are far more open and curious to exploring new things (just like my brave little niece) but as we get older we often become far more risk averse. However, it’s important to remember that taking a few risks doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to shoot over the edge and die! Often life really doesn’t start until we move outside our comfort zone.

If you can sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that it is inevitable that there will be ups and downs. There will be good times and there will be hard times and that’s Ok. That’s all part of the ride – that’s all part of life’s evolution – things will be so much easier than expecting everything to be on an even keel all the time.

Sometimes we become so fixated on trying to make everything perfect. We strive to make everything calm, everything happy and everything peaceful. But life was never supposed to be one dimensional. We were never supposed to just come here to just walk on the flat and never experience the up and downs.

I think we often fall into the mistaken belief that the purpose of life is to eliminate all problems and strive for a state of eternal peace and happiness but this mindset can cause us great distress when things don’t quite turn out that way.

Let’s be honest, just like the roller coaster, the course of real life never did run smooth and so resistance is futile. When we know this life itself can become so much easier because we can allow ourselves to stop striving so hard to only live in one state of being.

From this space (behind our thoughts) we can accept that the ‘sad’ times and the ‘bad’ times are as much a part of this rich tapestry that is our life as the ‘good’ times – the ‘happy’ times. They sit side by side. One cannot exist without the other.

If as humans we were only supposed to experience what we perceive as the ‘happy states’ – do you not think after all our thousands of years of evolution we would have raised our consciousness and changed our behaviour by now and yet still we have not. So the question we have to ask ourselves is why is that?

We all experience the inevitable bumps, tight turns, narrow escapes, crushing lows and inexplicable highs and that is what of course makes the ride so much fun. Would we really want it any other way?

I know it may not seem like that at the moment, especially if you are going through a low patch on your journey (and my heart goes out to you if that is the case) but believe me – life would be a rather dull fairground if we never jumped on the roller coaster at all.

Share the Wisdom around…