It’s a good thing that as children we learn, with joy in our hearts, the complex psychological concept that our bubbles will burst.
Blowing bubbles. Your breath making globes of gorgeousness. You create them and then you wantonly poke your finger at them to burst them. You giggle when they land globulously with flat bottoms on the ground. How delightful, how satisfying.
Do you remember those feelings? How much you loved the bursting of soap bubbles? Every bit as much as you loved creating them and watching the transcendant perfection of light-refracting bubbles that held your breath suspended inside you and inside your bubble?
As a grown-up I often speak about how we all live in a bubble. Psychological bubbles are our protective shield, the flexible, protective barrier wrapping our value and belief systems.
We all have our individual bubbles, they are our sanity-protectors and without them and their beneficially anaesthetic effect on our lives we would absorb too much pain, too much ecstasy, and explode.
Luckily, our bubbles explode instead of our Selves.
I’ve spent the last couple of years repairing my bubble after some serious negative puncturing. I’ve had to do things I never imagined I would have to do. Things that were not part of my previous belief system and idealistic view of MY world.
When we experience personal trauma, good or bad massive change, realisations that are so outside our beliefs about people and how they might behave, whose reality challenges our core personal values and idealistic views — our bubble bursts.
As children we learned that bubbles can’t be repaired. A bubble once burst is gone forever. Our response is to blow ourselves a new one.
And yet because of the trauma I’ve experienced I’ve found myself attempting to do the impossible: repair an old bubble, it was so pretty, so lovely.
The bursting of protective bubbles can be challenging when you find it difficult to accept that the trauma, the horror you knew happened to other people, but not to you, happens to you. While I might want to pretend it didn’t happen, ‘it’ has definitely burst my bubble. I felt the exquisite vulnerability of the loss of bubble.
During the between-time before making a new bubble, you have to spend time staring at the soapy liquid that was once a bubble. The life view you had, the person you were in that bubble that’s burst.
You grieve for your lovely bubble. Just like you did that very first time in childhood when your soap bubble burst and disappeared and you stared, bereft.
Grown-up, I didn’t like the new world view and its intimate knowledge of nasty. New bubbles seemed kinda scary.
So I sat and blew actual bubbles. And it was good. My mind seemed to tap in to the simple lesson I had learned so easily as a child about the abundance of bubbles, the natural necessity of bubbles and of their bursting. The ecstasy of making and watching them float, the sharp, tiny, pleasurable pain of their popping.
Creating a new bubble for myself, a much bigger one now with my new, more evolved and rounded world view, I realise our old bubbles also grow – and burst – when wonderful things occur.
We break through a soapy ceiling of our own making. A limiting belief is exploded – a miraculous connection, a soul-touching new friendship, a saving arm as you stepped out in front of a bus and there’s a pop followed by deep breath, a slow releasing of breath and a surge as your bigger bubble is blown.
Let’s blow some bubbles today. Blow them up, blow them away and blow some new ones. And maybe make some soap bubbles too.
Image (detail) “Where all life begins” borrowed from Cassandra204.