You see, I have this elevator, it’s rather large and works just fine, however, it’s not quite as magical as the one in ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’, but it does have powers. I never fully understood what type of powers it has until recently. That’s because I didn’t fully understand the purpose of my elevator, but now I do. Do you want me to share it with you? Here’s how it works:
My elevator goes to multiple floors in my house. I actually have over 50 of them! Yep, my house is pretty big. However, up until recently I never really visited most of the floors in my house. I tended to favour some floors over others. Each floor created in me a difference mood, and my thoughts changed depending on what floor I was on.
When I was alone, or sometimes with my husband, I would visit floor number three more often than the others. It wasn’t fancy at all; rather it was cold, and uninviting. The view wasn’t that great, and, well, let’s face it, it was miserable. I would enter this floor and feel angry, upset, frustrated, sad, alone, tired and irritable. The reason why I would visit this floor was because it was familiar to me. I knew it, it was predictable, and no matter what, I thought it was the floor I was meant to go to when I entertained certain thoughts, especially in my marriage. I tried to redecorate this floor by putting up new blinds, I ripped up the carpet and put new floorboards; I even got a brand new bedspread, hoping it would change the ‘feel’ of the floor. But the view remained the same and my emotions remained that of irritability and anguish. I desperately wanted this floor to look like other floors I had seen in some of my friend’s houses, especially when I saw them with their partner. But nothing I did changed the ‘mood’ of the floor. Yet I still visited this floor often because it was comfortable, familiar, and predictable. It provided me with certainty, and let’s face it, sometimes that can feel ‘nice’ even if it ‘hurts’.
Why did I do this? Why did I stick to the same few floors? I had fifty floors to visit! I could have visited the 50th floor more often; the view was far better. Or the eighth, or the twenty-third floor, after all, I had a choice in which floor I went to! But for some reason I thought that the third floor dominated my ‘alone time’ with my husband, dominated who I was – I began to think that ‘I was the floor’, that our relationship was ‘the floor’. That thought began to consume me, until a friend came over and asked to see the 50th floor. I was a bit nervous as I completely forgot I had that floor and I didn’t want what to expect. As I walked out of the elevator and onto the floor, I actually noticed the view outside was different. I felt ‘lighter’ and so much happier too. I could see things differently from this floor. It was colourful, with lots of plants in it, and that’s when I realised that I had a lot more power to choose what floor I wanted to visit, if I could visit this floor with my friend, then I could choose which floor I wanted to entertain in my life, which floor I wanted to spend time in, and which floor became my identity within myself and within my marriage.
Our moods are like the floors that we visit. Most people think that our mood dominates who we are, that it dominates everything. Moods become our truth. “I’m a melancholy person”, or “my marriage is just hard work,” and we become comfortable with that identity, even if we don’t like it. So we can try and ‘fix’ things, and become obsessed with ‘fixing’ what we think is broken or doesn’t work. This can be our relationships, our ‘moods,’ or how we relate to ourselves. All we end up seeing are the ‘problems’, we see the stains on the furniture, the dirt on the floor, and then we want to clean things up, or fix things that are broken, and the more we see, the more we feel the need to fix and clean. However, the more we focus on what we are trying to ‘fix’, the more ‘stuck’ we can become, because all we are doing is focusing on the mood, on the problem, and what is wrong or broken. But guess what? You are not a floor, your marriage is not the floor. I repeat, you’re not that floor. You are not your mood, you are not your problems, and you are not even your thoughts.
Which led me to the realisation that we are never ‘feeling’ our circumstances, we are only ‘feeling the thinking’ of our circumstances. This means that if we change our thoughts then we change our moods. That’s because we first ‘think’ something and then we ‘feel’ it. We might ‘think’ our husband doesn’t love us, and then we feel pain. Or we might ‘think’ life is unfair, and then we feel anger. We might ‘think’ we are stupid, and then we feel down. If we don’t like what we are ‘feeling’ we can change our thinking, we can latch on to another thought or let go of the thoughts that are holding us back or focus on the thoughts that bring us closer to a state of being we actually desire. We can change the way we view things, switch our focus, and our feelings can and will change as a result of this.
It’s ok to sit and notice all the floors, to visit them, but know you can choose to move to another floor – no floor is permanent. There are multiple floors to visit, multiple experiences to be had, and multiple moods to feel. No floor is right or wrong, no moods are right or wrong, it’s whether your moods are allowing you to experience and get the results that you want in life, that’s an indicator as to whether or not it’s time to change floors. Perhaps it’s time to change your thinking and connect to your inner self? Perhaps it’s time to let go of the ‘bad’ thought and connect to another one that brings you joy? Thoughts move on like clouds, there is always another one coming and going.
I have some great news for you. You don’t have to own any floors at all; you can just visit them, as no floor has to become your identity. You have the power to choose and to enjoy the floors for what they are, learn from that floor, grow, and then leave.
As I sit writing this in my elevator, deciding which floor to visit next, I realise this: at the end of the day, life is nothing but an elevator pass that I have the power to use! So which floor am I going to get off at now? I think I will see the view from floor fifty today.
For more information on how our thoughts and emotions are connected, please contacted Megan Jaworski from ‘be the change’ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Modified and adapted from a metaphor I heard by Fiona Lukies from The Relationship Room.